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Beginning Again 
at Ararat 


Mabel Evelyn Elliott, M.D. 

Medical Director of Near East Relief 

With Introduction 

John H. FInley 



Fleming H. Revell Company 


,,/; ".Copyright, 1924, by 

New York: 158 Fifth Avenue 
Chicago: 17 North Wabash Ave. 
London: 21 Paternoster Square 
Edinburgh: 75 Princes Street 



I HAD the privilege of reading several chapters of 
this book in manuscript when on my way by a 
small black night-boat from the port of Piraeus to 
the island of Scyros. On this beautiful little island, 
mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey as a place where 
people are never "plagued by sickness/' there are now 
gathered two thousand refugee, orphan children from 
Asia Minor, Armenians and Anatolian Greeks, in 
an orphanage built and maintained by the Near East 

But in the background of that cheerful, hopeful 
refuge amid the Isles of Greece of which poets have 
sung since the days of Sappho, there rise the snowy 
peaks of venerable Ararat, which have looked down 
upon more human woe, probably, than any other 
mountain on the face of the earth. 

One of the most tragic stories of modern times is 
that of the wanderings of a people who for centuries 
made their homes in the valleys of the streams that 
have their sources in this mountain. The children 
whom I saw at Scyros and on the coasts of the main 
land of Greece were but as the spray of the great 
successive waves of flying refugees that broke upon 
all the shores around the JEgean. They have, thanks 
to the hospitality of the Greeks and the generosity of 
the Americans, the prospect, if this assistance is con- 



tiniied for a few years, of becoming the pillars of the 
new republics that are being built upon the ruins of 
old empires. 

The story which Dr. Elliott has written is an odyssey, 
the story of wandering and suffering after a world war, 
It is, however, an odyssey that has in it something 
which the immortal story of earlier wanderings along 
these same shores after the Trojan war, which seemed 
a world war, did not have, for there is in the lines 
and between the lines, the spirit of Christian charity, 
which endureth all things, hopeth all things, is long- 
suffering and kind. There are no halls of Circe in this 
story, no caves of Calypso. It is an odyssey of human 
sympathy and noblest purpose, ministering to homeless 
people without even a country. 

Ararat is more than the name of a mountain in the 
geography of Genesis. It stands in the geography of 
Geneva and Lausanne sharply against the background 
of Noah and Prometheus, as real and as imposing as 
Mont Blanc. A modern geographer has found a sort 
of geographical justification for the ancient view that 
it was the centre of the earth. Political orologists have 
a good reason to look upon it as the centre of the earth's 
present-day problems. It stands in what is now the 
territory of the new Turkey. It looks across the 
Araxes River into Russia, or specifically, into Russian 
Armenia, which is all that is left of Armenia. And it 
has ? over the head of Little Ararat, a glimpse into 
Persia. It is thus at the conjunction of three countries 
whose beginning again is of great consequence to civili 
zation. For what happens in the lands upon which it 


looks down, especially Russia and Turkey, is bound 
to affect profoundly and permanently the whole 
Western world. 

The most significant educational effort in that far 
region is that upon which Ararat's peaks look down 
the Near East Relief Orphanage for children in 
Alexandropol, in Russian Armenia. It is the largest 
children's city in the world. I stood one day for two 
hours and more, with the Armenian Commissioner of 
Education and the Commissar of Agriculture, while the 
children passed in procession, some so small that they 
had to be carried. At the end of the procession came 
American tractors, drawing American ploughs, culti 
vators and self-binders, a prophecy of the machinery 
that is likely to be in use beneath Ararat when these 
children become farmers and commissars of the new 
Russia. They occupy the extensive barracks, once 
filled by Russian soldiers but now put to this better 
defensive constructive use. 

I take a hopeful view of the landscape from Ararat. 
I have travelled in the penumbra of the shadow that is 
deep upon the heart of Europe. And everywhere I was 
assured that the outer rim, at any rate, is not as dark 
as it has been, that things are not as bad as they were, 
and that they will be better rather than worse. I have 
a confident hope that Ararat is to be the centre of a 
new hope for the earth and the seat of a new covenant. 
And that hope is largely based upon what I have seen 
of the peasantry in all these lands, to whom the early 
covenant made with man at Ararat has been renewed: 
"While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and 


summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." 
It is these peasants, in their simple religious faith, who 
ever renew the sweet savour that first went up from 
Noah's altar, and who in the unceasing labour which is 
their prayer, will, if anything can, prevent a curse from 
falling again upon the whole earth, worse than that 
which Ararat has known in the past. It is in this hope 
that I have suggested the title "Beginning Again at 
Ararat" to Dr. Elliott for her book. 

New York 


FEW, if any, women in the history of humanitarian 
work have a record equal to that of Dr. Mabel 
Elliott, who has for four years been one of 
the most notable members of the American Women's 
Hospitals personnel in the Near East. It would have 
been unfortunate if one in the midst of such frightful 
strain and stress could not have kept any record of 
her experiences, Dr. Elliott has now arranged to give 
the world a connected narrative of the terrible pages 
of history of which she has been so intimate a witness. 
She has had four very distinct experiences with a 
crescendo of tragedy in their continuity. First, Marash, 
in Central Anatolia, her hospital and general medical 
relief work for the population when the French troops 
were in occupation; the long siege by Turkish troops, 
with fear, hunger and disease to combat; and the 
final evacuation in midwinter when Dr. Elliott went 
out with army and populace. For three days of march 
ing through deep snow and intense cold, without food 
or water, she shared the cruel hardships of those among 
whom she worked. Next, we see her with indomitable 
energy establishing the work in Ismid, south of Con 
stantinople. A hospital, general medical relief, and a 
training school for nurses were in full swing when again 
war broke over her head. The Greek occupation 
yielded to the Turks, Under fire she calmly continued 



her work, sent all her Christian young nurses in or 
derly evacuation and continued her work now for the 

This piece of work done, we see her transferred to 
the Trans-Caucasus, where her work was to organize 
and direct hospitals for Armenian refugee children 
driven out of their country by the Turks. Here Dr. 
Elliott had to cope with the results of war on a huge 
scale. It was a tremendous piece of organization and 
she did it with marvellous executive ability and 
scientific skill. 

Then, while she was seeking rest and change from 
long months and years of strain and toil and danger, 
the awful tragedy of Smyrna horrified the world. Again 
she was called to service and she hurried back to Con 
stantinople and thence plunged into the indescribable 
and inconceivable horrors of the Smyrna and Anatolia 
evacuations. We think of Florence Nightingale and 
her work in that same vicinity: read the annals of the 
Crimean war, and in numbers handled, in horrors en 
countered, and in heroism of service rendered, surely 
our Mabel Elliott of to-day stands peer to that wonder 
ful woman of 1854-6* The Medical Women's National 
Association honours itself in honouring her. And in the 
work of our daughter, the American Women's Hospitals, 
we feel that we have a place in the sum of achievement. 

(President, Medical Women's National 

Association, 1922-23.) 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 


THE idea of this book, and the making of it, are 
not mine alone. Though the material is mine, 
gathered in notes and reports and letters dur 
ing four busy years, the task of arranging and editing 
it has been shared by Mr. Jaquith, Mr. America, Mr. 
Jennings, Mr. Morris, Mrs. Lane and many others. To 
the San Francisco Call I am indebted for the use of a 
story by a staff correspondent. The illustrations are 
from photographs by Ella Jane Hardcastle, H. C. 
Jaquith, and Stanley Kerr. 

To all the friends who have so patiently helped me, 
I gratefully give thanks; it is their book as well as 
mine; it is our book. Indeed, I feel that it is the work 
of all the millions of Americans who sent us out to help 

I went to the Near East as the representative of the 
American Women's Hospitals, one of the American 
institutions that rose out of the war and have grown 
during the less dramatic but more terrible years of the 
peace. It was at first a war-committee of the National 
Medical Women's Association, a committee whose work 
was the mobilizing of American medical women for 
war service. The committee was one of the many 
organizations which worked practically and efficiently 
as part of the huge American war-machinery, and was 



as little noticed as any indispensable cog that helps to 
turn the large impressive wheels. 

I went to Marash as one of the women certified and 
equipped by this committee, to work for the Near East 
Relief. I went to Ismid for the American Women's 
Hospitals, with a staff chosen, equipped and paid by 
them, to open and manage a hospital for which the 
Near East Relief furnished all supplies. Later the 
American Women's Hospitals sent me to the Caucasus 
to take over, for them, a larger share of the medical 
work of the Near East Relief. 

This association of the small, specialized organiza 
tion with the large general one proved so satisfactory 
that before I left the Caucasus my organization., made 
entirely by American women and employing only 
women in all executive positions, was handling the 
whole medical work of the Near East Relief in the 
Caucasus, a work involving the care of 40,000 orphan 
children, all of whom were at one time patients. 


West Palm Beach, Florida. 































Mabel Evelyn Elliott Title 

City of Marash from the Hillside . . . . 62 

One of the Camel Caravans So 

Dr. Elliott and Emaciated Patient .... 80 

Transport Difficulties at Ismid 144 

Dr. Elliott in Native Yali 144 

Largest Orphanage in the World 170 

Miss MacKaye's Blue Babies . . . . .188 

Twin Peaks of Ararat 268 

Father Dadian in His Cell 324 

One of the Old Bibles at Berd , 324 


ONE autumn evening the Maxim Gorki on which 
we were travelling came into Armenia. The 
Maxim Gorki is a train made up of boxcars 
and decrepit third-class coaches, which was invented 
by the Russian poet when the Revolution made him 
a railroad man. We had left Tiflis at noon, and for 
six hours we had been creeping southward through 
Georgia, looking out at plains dotted with herds of 
horses and cattle, at strings of ox-wagons carrying hay 
and grain, and at villages peaceful in trees. Clusters 
of men hung to the steps of our coaches, stealing free 
rides, but last year's hordes of refugees had disap 
peared. Georgia was recovering from war and revolu 
tion. Even the crisp, mountain air seemed to have in 
it energy and hope. 

Twilight was falling when our panting engine be 
gan to climb the mountainous border of Armenia. In 
a little while, as though exhausted, it stopped on the 
edge of a wild gorge. Looking across the chasm made 
by a furious river, we saw the wreck of a large village, 
perhaps a hundred houses, of which not one remained 
upright Above it the mountain had been terraced to 
its summit. Miles of solidly-built stone walls, still 
holding the ledges of earth, spoke mutely of the wealth 
of fatimaa labour and life that had gone to make f rait- 


M the grudging mountain side. Nothing was left now 
but the stone walls and hundreds of stumps of mur 
dered olive trees. 

Near the skyline a woman sat alone on a boulder, at 
the black doorway of a dugout. She sat motionless, 
covered from the crown of her head to the earth by 
a white Armenian veil, and her figure was like a mar 
ble statue of mourning above the desolation. It ex 
pressed all the centuries of Armenia's misery; it 
expressed all that, four years earlier, I had known or 
felt about the Armenians. 

Four years pass swiftly in the Near East. They 
bring added knowledge and a changed point of view, 
but these come concealed in the rush of immediate 
events. Persons who live through a catastrophe, like 
an earthquake or a theatre fire, do not know until 
a later quiet moment that the world has been changed 
for them. Four years in the turmoil of the Near East 
are not a catastrophe for an American, but they are 
as engrossing in their demands for quick, practical 
thought and action. It was not until I saw the white 
figure of the woman at the mouth of her cave that I 
realized how greatly four years of acquaintance with 
Armenians had changed my attitude toward them. 

Down by the banks of the river, among the two or 
three hundred refugees living in shelters of cornstalks, 
was my Armenia. There were the haggard, dishevelled 
women nursing their babies; there were the young 
girls with dark, passionate eyes and thick masses of 
hair; there were the ragged boys* There, too, was 
the triumphant survival of home. For home persists, 


endures, continues indomitably to survive, like life 
itself. Women who have lost husbands and brothers 
and the weakest of their children, who have lost all 
their treasures of linens and carpets and clothing, who 
have no food, no shelter, and one would think no 
hope, will still keep some semblance of home. Five 
thousand sick and dirty refugees huddled in a roped- 
off street will divide the cobblestones into tiniest fam 
ily-spaces, and sweep, and lay neatly in order their 
precious rags, their one tin can, their handful of fire. 
So in the cornstalk village in the gorge there were the 
small cooking-fires, the covered deep pit for baking 
bread, the carefully folded rags of beds, the piles of 
rocks arranged as a cradle for the baby. 

Life was going on there, as everywhere. If sorrow 
were a part of it, so were all other human emotions. 
The girls comb their thick hair and tie a bit of scarlet 
rag in it; they have a smile for the young man who 
passes while they are bringing water from the river, a 
brimming Standard Oil can replacing the accustomed 
graceful jar on their shoulders. The mothers gossip 
while they nurse their babies; depend upon it, there 
are scandal and triumph, envy and neighbourliness in 
that village of refugees. One family has a sheep; that 
means wool for the distaff, riches. Another has a bit 
of meat for the evening soup; stolen, perhaps. After 
supper the mothers will tell the children folk-tales that 
were old when Rome was a place on the banks of the 
Tiber where wild animals came to drink. 

Yes, the Armenians are more and less than Chris 
tian martyrs* They are human beings. For some 


years they have been wards of the American people. 
But they are like a ward in a distant boarding-school; 
the reports that come back to America do not express 
their living reality, their faults and their mirth, their 
stupidities and their hopes, their bewilderments and 
their flashes of nobility. 

Perhaps no American will ever fully understand the 
Armenian people. Three hundred years of pioneer 
life and almost unbroken peace have produced us. 
Three thousand years of war and hate and mixing of 
bloods in the maelstrom where East and West meet 
have produced the Armenian. 

We are a practical people; our Christianity becomes 
morals and ethics. The Armenians are a primitive and 
poetic people; their Christianity is still the mingled 
mysticism and superstition of their native East. 

We were born free, and have made for ourselves the 
chains of a social sense. For fifteen centuries the 
Armenians have been a subject people, and their in 
dividualism is restrained only by patriarchal traditions 
and the rule of alien conquerors. 

No two peoples of the same family of human races 
could be more different than the American and the 
Armenian. The bond between them is unique in his 
tory the purely humanitarian interest of one nation 
in another. 

Since the time of Adam, such a thing has not been 
known. All peoples have always been enemies, active 
or potential. The interest of a people in its neigh 
bours has been simple; they could be robbed, enslaved, 
or killed. This principle endured when war became 


more subtle, being fought with treaties and commerce 
as well as with stones and clubs and guns. It is a 
principle still accepted as the rule. But, to-day, the 
rule has exceptions. One of them is the relation of 
America to the Armenians. We see America, with 
nothing to gain, with no intention of annexing land, of 
finding cheap labour or seizing concessions, acting as 
though Armenians were not an alien people, but mem 
bers of her own family. 

This is not a movement of governments, but of 
peoples. There is probably not an American to whom 
the idea of Armenia is not familiar, scarcely an Ameri 
can child who has not given up the delight of candy to 
send a nickle or a dime to some unknown Armenian 
child. There is no Armenian who does not know that 
the American flag means help in trouble and safety in 
danger. The two peoples are separated physically by 
the bulk of the world, and mentally by the ages of 
experience since the white races began their migration 
from their unknown birthplace. But they are united 
by a new reality between peoples, the idea of human 
solidarity and mutual service. 

This is a young motive in the world, and one must 
admit that, as yet, it is a weakling. Americans are not 
ministering angels, any more than Armenians are stain 
less martyrs. We are all human beings, and a pair 
of over-tight shoes or a day of hunger will submerge 
for a time the spirit of Christian brotherhood in the 
best of us. The important thing is that the Cou6 
formula does express a truth, "Every day, in every 
way, we are getting better and better." Yet we are 


doing it so very slowly that I would not rely on that 
truth to set a broken bone or stop a smallpox epidemic. 
But surely if slowly the great masses of us do begin 
to feel that sense of human brotherhood which Christ 
taught. To me this strange new thing in international 
relationships, the bond between American and Arme 
nian, is one proof of it. Perhaps, after a few millen 
niums, the increasing goodness of humanity may be 
strong enough to heal for ever the world's war-wounds. 

The Maxim Gorki went on, carrying the packed car 
loads of us further into the night that covered the 
mountain ranges and high plateaus of Armenia. 
Candles were lighted in boxcars and coaches, sheets 
of the thin Armenian bread torn and divided among 
eager hands. The snow-chilled mountain air came 
through broken windows and made the candles flutter. 
Mothers wrapped their sleepy children in rags of 
shawls. From one of the boxcars ahead a fragment 
of an old Armenian cradle-song came back to us: 

Sleep, my baby, lying in your cradle; 
I have wept very much, you need not weep. 
The blind cranes fly crying over our country, 
And I have wept very much; you need not weep. 
In the black forest the wind is mourning, 
Mourning for bodies the wild dogs devour. 
Don't weep, my baby, I have wept very much* 
Far in the desert the camels are kneeling, 
The caravan carries away all our sorrows. 
I have wept long enough; you need not weep. 

The veiled woman whom we had left behind on the 
mountain side was probably at that moment singing 


the same song to her own drowsy children. She was 
not what she had seemed, a statue of sorrow in deso 
lation; she was as human as all the other Armenians 
whose faces and voices and stories came crowding into 
our memories. I wished that the people at home who 
had sent us to the Near East to help the Armenians 
could know them as we know them more as neigh 
bours, and less as symbols. That wish is the mother 
of this book, through which I hope to share with Ameri 
cans at home the experiences of an American in 



IN Scutari, immediately after the Armistice, there 
was a Rescue Home for Armenian girls who, by 
order of the conquering British, had been released 
from imprisonment in Turkish harems. Scutari is the 
large Asiatic suburb of Constantinople, known to us as 
the place where Florence Nightingale, during the 
Crimean war, established the tradition which is the 
foundation of the Red Cross and of modern nursing. 
Crossing the Bosphorus to Scutari, on a dingy ferry 
boat crowded with strangely clothed men and women 
chattering all the tongues of the Near East, one sees 
only the uninteresting walls of wooden houses, the 
oblong brusqueness of Selemie Barracks, and the tall 
monument to Florence Nightingale. The domes and 
hills and minarets of Constantinople are left behind 
in Europe. Scutari is in Asia, but it appears less 
Asiatic than the city of which it is a suburb. Yet it 
was in Scutari, in the antiseptic cleanliness of a mod 
ern operating room, that I was given my first glimpse 
of Asia the real Asia, beneath its outward colour. 

There were a hundred and fifty girls in the Rescue 
Home, which was one of the many shelters receiving 
the girls escaping from the Turks. The Near East 
Relief had established the home, and ray first work 



after I reached Constantinople was the examination 
and medical treatment of these girls. 

They were all from the best class of Armenian 
homes; carefully reared, well educated, charming girls, 
much like a group of young American college women. 
They were products of the American Mission colleges 
in Turkey, and many of them had studied in European 
universities. Nearly all of them spoke French or 
English. Among the thousands of girls who had come 
out into the world again, from behind the guarded 
gates and latticed windows of Turkish homes, these 
had been distinguished by their evident personal quali 
ties. The Scutari Rescue Home was for girls of this 
type, who, when they had somewhat recovered from 
their experiences, could use their exceptional equip 
ment in making new lives for themselves. 

You must see them as I remember them, passing, 
one by one, through my consultation room; gentle, well- 
bred girls, with brushed hair and shining finger nails, 
who spoke in low voices and wore with instinctive taste 
their borrowed clothes. None of them had discussed 
with any one her experiences during the war. For the 
first time their reticence was disturbed, necessarily, by 
professional questions, and when they had begun to 
speak it was as though they could not stop. The whole 
story poured from them. 

The things that I heard were unbelievable. A doctor 
sees more deeply into the abysses of human society 
than any other person except a priest, but I knew only 
America* This was Asia^ strange, bestial, incompre 
hensible. It was my first personal encounter with such 


things the things that human beings can do, care 
lessly, without rancour, laughing, to other human be 
ings. It was incredible, too, that these girls could have 
seen and endured them, and survived to sit there telling 
of them. The stories did not vary greatly; the variety 
was in the revealed temperament of the girls. Some sat 
quietly, with folded hands, talking on and on in a low 
voice, growing whiter and whiter until there was no 
blood in their lips. Others became excited, little by 
little lost their self-control, and ended screaming and 

It was better for them to pour out this bitterness 
that had been so long dammed behind their silence, and 
I did not stop them. I sat in the little, white room and 
listened, while the hucksters cried their wares up and 
down the narrow, cobbled street under the windows 
and the sunshine moved across the white walls, until 
at times the whole thing became as unreal as night 

"I was twelve years old, I was with my mother. 
They drove us with whips, and we had no water. It 
was very hot and many of us died because there was 
no water. They drove us with whips, I do not know 
how many days and nights and weeks, until we came 
to the Arabian desert. My sisters and the little baby 
died on the way. We went through a town, I do not 
know its name. The streets were full of dead all cut 
to pieces. There were heads and arms and legs and 
blood oh, blood I" 

"There, there/' I would say. "You are safe now* 


"They drove us over them. I keep dreaming about 
that. We came to a place on the desert, a hollow place 
in the sand, with hills all around it. There were thou 
sands of us there, many, many thousands, all women, 
and girl-children. They herded us like sheep into the 
hollow. Then it was dark, and we heard firing all 
around us. We said, ( The killing has begun.' We 
thought they had got tired of driving us. All night 
we waited for them my mother and I we waited for 
them to reach us. But they did not come, and in the 
morning when we looked around, no one was killed, 
No one was killed at all. 

"They had not been killing us. They had been 
signalling to the wild tribes that we were there. The 
Kurds carne later in the morning, in the daylight; the 
Kurds and many other kinds of men from the desert. 
They came over the hills and rode down and began 
killing us. All day long they were killing; you see 
there were so many of us. All that they did not think 
they could sell, they killed. They kept on killing all 
night, and in the morning in the morning they killed 
my mother." 

It was all an old story to Americans who had been 
longer than I in 'the Near East the story of the 
deportations that were being carried out in Turkey 
while we in America were watching the battle-line in 
France. Every one knows now all that can be printed 
about it. Still it cannot be comprehended by a West 
ern mind. More than a million human beings driven 
from their homes as casually as cattle from pens, their 
men and boys killed, the women and girls driven in 


long criss-crossing caravans all over Turkey, dying, 
scattered in terrible days of massacre, meeting mothers 
and sisters again hundreds of miles away, torn from 
them once more, sold to slave dealers, escaping, helped 
by kindly Turks, captured by Kurds and re-sold the 
magnitude and fantastic quality of it make it seem un 
real We cannot grasp it, for there is no reason in it; 
the facts those girls told were like revelations of the 
mind of a madman. 

We read of wholesale massacre ordered by a govern 
ment, and whatever our horror, our minds picture some 
thing like an orderly butchery. But there was no or 
ganization, no orderliness, in Turkey; all the passions 
and policies and hatreds of millions of human beings 
were turned loose, unrestrained. 

This one girl remains distinctly in my mind because 
she was the only one in the Home who had lost her 
sensitiveness. Her manner was bold, almost callous, 
and one could not wonder at it, remembering that she 
was only twelve years old when the Kurds took her* 
The story went on, in a matter-of-fact voice* She 
had apparently been valued because of her youth and 
hardihood. They had held her for a higher price, 
while other girls were sold. She had escaped. For a 
year she had lived through a phantasmagoria of adven 
ture, always captured, always escaping. She had got 
a knife and killed with it. She had been wounded, 
beaten, hunted through hills and underbrush. "There 
were some days I do not remember; my mind stopped. 
I would find myself a long way from where I had been, 


and say, 'Where arn I?' " Many times, driven by 
starvation to Turkish houses, she had been taken in 
and treated kindly. But always, sooner or later, the 
idea of profit came into Turkish eyes, and she saw it 
and escaped, wrenching bars from windows and drop 
ping from walls. In the end, the Vali, governor of 
the province, heard of her and sent to demand her 
from the Turkish family that was giving her shelter. 
She escaped once more, and the gendarmes caught her. 

"You might as well give up/ 7 they said. "What can 
you do against the Vali? This whole province is in 
his hand; he will have you in the end. Better give up 
now, while he feels kindly toward you." 

So she surrendered. They took her to the Vali's 
house. "Then," she said with a long sigh, "for the 
first time I knew peace." 

The Vali had been kind to her. She had had rest, 
and good food, and cleanliness. Having given up the 
struggle, she was no longer afraid. Every one was 
kind to her. "The Vali's wife loved me like a mother, 
and he loved me like a lover." Did she love him? 
"I? But I am Christian. And I love nobody. What 
did they leave me to love when they killed the last 
of my family?" 

When I told her that in a few months she would be 
a mother, she said, with a laugh like a snarl, "Very 
well I will send it to its father." 

Then there was another girl, whose story had a 
touch of the incredibly fantastic. With eyelids closed, 
she was the most beautiful girl I have seen among a 


people renowned for feminine beauty. Her features 
were like those preserved for us from antiquity by the 
chisels of great artists; her skin was like that of a 
child, and her body was a rhythm of line. But when 
she opened her eyes, it became painful to look at her. 
One eyeball swung outward in its socket so grotesquely 
that one thought of a gargoyle. 

Her story was the usual one; during the deportations 
she had been sold into a Turkish house. There she 
had been rebellious, violent, incorrigible. She had 
upset the whole household, and beatings had not sub 
dued her. "Then they said that they had had no 
peace since I came; I must have an evil eye, and they 
would fix it," she said. "My eyes were perfectly 
straight then, but they took me to a hospital and had 
this done to me," and she pointed to the crooked eye. 

I did not believe it. I had grown as accustomed 
to hearing of monstrous things as I shall ever be, but 
this was incredible. When a knife or a hot iron would 
have served the purpose, why resort to an infinitely 
delicate surgical operation? It is a question I cannot 
answer; a question whose answer is so deep in Turk 
ish character that only a Turk could answer it- For 
I examined the eye, and saw beyond doubt that the 
story was true. The microscopic scars were there, in 
the minute muscles of the eye. Some finely trained 
and skilful Turkish surgeon had used his training at 
the operating table to make this girl hideous. He had 
done this, while hundreds of Turkish soldiers, wounded 
in fighting for their country, were dying for lack of 
surgical help. 


The girl whose revelation of Armenia went deepest 
was a graduate of European schools and spoke French 
and German as well as English. These accomplish 
ments and her beauty had saved her from the deporta 
tions. After her father and brothers were killed, while 
the women and girls were being driven from the city, 
she had been selected with others to stay behind. She 
managed to keep one younger sister with her. More 
than a hundred girls were crowded into the Armenian 
church, and groups of officers and influential Turks 
continually came to choose wives from among them. 
During the first afternoon she perceived that one of 
these Turks looked at her for some time. He seemed 
kinder, more sympathetic, than the others. 

He went away without speaking to her, but the next 
day he returned and said to her, "Come." She asked 
If she might bring her sister, and he said, "Yes." She 
went with him to his house, which was a large and 
beautiful one, with extensive gardens. She was given 
her own rooms and servants. From the very first he 
was always considerate and kind to her and to her 
little sister. He married her by Moslem ceremony. 
She was his only wife. 

She repeated that he was always good to her, and 
like a father to the little sister. He gave them beau 
tiful clothes and many jewels; he was thoughtful of 
their comfort and sensitive to their feelings. She lived 
with him for three years, and they had a child. He 
was in Constantinople when she heard of the Armi 

At this point In her story she stopped, and I thought 


it ended. She had been sitting very quietly, growing 
whiter as she talked, and the only gesture she made 
was when she said, "No, wait. I want to tell you." 

When she heard of the Armistice she took off all the 
jewels and clothes he had given her, and put on the 
garments she had worn to his house and kept laid 
away. She left her baby with its nurse, took her sister, 
and went to Constantinople, straight to the patriarch 
of the Armenian church. She told him that she wanted 
to see her husband. The husband was sent for, and 
she said to him, "The war is ended now, and I am 
leaving you. I will never see you again." 

He pleaded with her to come back to him. He said 
that he loved her and could not live without her, that 
he would never take another wife into his house. He 
promised even to give up his faith and become a Chris 
tian if she would come back to him. He begged her 
not to leave their child without a mother. 

She sat quietly telling me this, with tears running 
down her white cheeks, and I said to her, "You love 
your husband." 

"Yes," she said. 

"But you love Mm ; you say he loves you and is 
kind to you, he has your baby why do you not go 
back to him?" 

She looked at me with astonishment in her miserable 
eyes, and said, "But he is a Turk." 

He was a Turk, her baby was a Turk, and she was 
Armenian. She felt that her love for them was a sin, 
and that in going back to them she would be denying 
Christ. She could not do it, 


In this story, as she told it, I began faintly to per 
ceive the meaning of religion to the Armenian. This 
Eastern meaning of religion is alien to us. It is not 
so much a guide in living, as life itself. It is dearer 
even than earthly life or hope of heaven; it goes deeper 
than the individual. It is the life of a race, the memo 
ries and traditions of generations of ancestors, and the 
immortality of a people on earth. 

Without being consciously aware of it, these people 
know that to give up their God is to betray, not only 
their own souls, but their people. Their belief in 
their God is the force that has held the Armenians 
together as a people through fifteen centuries of living 
mingled with other conquering races; the Armenian 
Church is the one remnant of their state that has 
survived. At home we say glibly, "In the East, re 
ligion is nationality," but our minds skim the surface 
of the words' meaning. Neither religion nor nation 
ality is to us what it is to the Armenian. Let America 
be conquered and held in subjection by a yellow race 
that worships strange gods, and after many centuries 
our descendants will know the Armenian meaning of 
nationality-religion, and American girls will know why 
this Armenian girl could not go back to the husband 
and baby she loved. 

Many Armenian girls, of course, did remain in 
Turkish households. Of the thousands who dis 
appeared into the seclusion of the high-walled gardens 
only a few hundreds came out. This absorption of 
white, Christian women into the families of the Mon 
golian conqueror began six centuries ago and has never 


stopped. During those centuries the high-cheek-boned, 
slant-eyed, yellow-skinned invader has changed into 
the straight-eyed, smooth-cheeked, olive-tinted Turkish 
type of to-day. How much has the blood of the con 
quered and despised Armenian contributed to this 
change? It is an interesting question, which cannot 
be answered, for in a Turkish household the Christian 
woman becomes nominally Moslem, and her children 
inherit nationality from their father. Abdul Hamid, 
called the Red Sultan because of his bloody massacres 
of Christians, was the son of an Armenian slave, but 
this did not prevent his being a Turk and a Sultan. 

This lofty ignoring of biology does not in the least 
hinder biology's pursuance of its own laws, but their 
working is hidden and their aim defeated. Beyond 
doubt only the obstinacies of religious creeds have pre 
vented the Turk from being absorbed, in name as he 
has largely been in fact, by the greater numbers of the 
races he has conquered. For six centuries the Turk 
has maintained his precarious power over the innumer 
able peoples of Asia Minor and the Balkans solely by 
force of arms and by keeping alive the old hatreds be 
tween the subject races. During those centuries the 
blood of the conquered peoples has been mixed with the 
Mongolian to produce the Turk of to-day; a race sepa 
rate from the others not by blood but by religion. 
Meanwhile the conquered peoples themselves have re 
mained nearly as pure in blood, and as distinct from 
each other, as they were a thousand years ago* 

Only common blood and a common ancestral ex* 


perience enable human beings fully to understand each 
other, I think. There were always incomprehensions 
between me and the girls in the Scutari Home, gaps 
in our mutual understanding that could be bridged only 
by blind sympathy. Reasons for the organized Ameri 
can effort to help them were not very clear to the 
girls; neither organization nor impersonal social service 
were part of their experience. As for me, I could hear 
their stories only objectively; I had not yet seen mas 
sacre or slavery, and I could not remember to take 
for granted, as these girls did, that slavery and mas 
sacre are part of the normal scheme of things, like 

These girls, however, told more vividly than any 
mass of figures or political statements the immediate 
background of the Turkey into which we were going. 
In their little personal stories appeared the whole 
gigantic chaos of interior Turkey during the Great 
War; the conflicting ambitions and policies and char 
acters of beys and pashas, the wandering bands of 
Kurds and other nomads, the stern figures of German 
officers more brutal, often, than the Turks, but mak 
ing little islands of Western discipline in a sea of 
anarchy and the small heroic struggles of American 

There were girls from Van, who unconsciously re 
vealed, in their story of Armenian delight in Turkish 
defeats and pitiful joy in the Russian army's coming, 
the basis for the Turks' charge that they were 
traitors, and the reason for the deportations. These 
girls had been caught in the massacres and driven from 


their province, even while the Armenians of Van, in 
trenched in their quarter, were fighting the Turks until 
the Russian armies came. There was a girl from 
Mosul, who knew of the Assyrian-Kurdish war within 
the war. There was a girl from Marash, who had 
heard of the heroic revolt and defense of Zeitoun by 
the Armenian mountaineers. 

Strange as these stories were, in their taking for 
granted a mingling of patriarchal laws and anarchy as 
foreign to our life as some story of conditions on Mars, 
there was in them a vague resemblance to something 
once heard or dreamed, which evaded my efforts to 
place it. It came to me suddenly one evening when 
a Bible fell open at an unaccustomed place and my 
eyes fell on the words, "And Jonathan smote the garri 
son of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philis 
tines heard of it." 

It was a shock to realize that the Old Testament is 
not a record of the far past, as it seems to us from our 
reading of it in comfortable living rooms on Sunday 
evenings; it was a shock to realize that here, in Asia 
Minor, it has never ceased to be living reality, that 
the peoples are living here to-day as they lived through 
the centuries after the Israelities came from Egypt to 
conquer the land. "For the children of Ammon and 
Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, 
utterly to destroy and slay them, and when they had 
made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one 
helped to destroy another." 

Exactly as, without thinking of it or questioning it, 
we take for granted an orderly organization of society^ 


with its mixing of many races in our cities and on our 
unguarded farms, arrival of letters, ringing of the tele 
phone, church services of many creeds on peaceful Sun 
day mornings, so do these people of Asia Minor take 
for granted a world of religious and racial hatreds, 
little and big wars, massacres, deportations the same 
world in which the Lost Tribes of Israel disappeared, 
the same- in which the Jews were driven captive to 

One girl was telling how she had been given the 
alternative of death or becoming a Moslem. "I would 
have said the words ; I was so terribly frightened. Oh ? 
I would never, never stop really being Christian! But 
I was so tired and so afraid and I had been beaten so, 
and they were killing others there was so much blood 
and screaming. I thought God would perhaps forgive 
me if I said the words, not meaning them, and I would 
always pray secretly to Him as long as I lived. But 
I couldn't, when I remembered my mother. 

"I'd lost my mother a long time before. It was 
when they were driving us through the pass in the 
Karajah hills, all among the rocks they began killing 
us not the Turks, but some other men who came 
down from the hills* And somehow, I don't know how, 
I lost my mother. Afterward I could not find her any 
where. Always when we met or passed other Armen 
ians I asked if they had seen my mother. I never 
saw her again, But once, a long time afterward, when 
we were being driven south toward Aleppo, we passed 
some of our people who were being driven north. The 


soldiers would not let us stop, but as we went past we 
called to each other. A woman answered me, and said 
she had seen my mother, going West. My mother sent 
me this word, 'Do not deny Christ. If you deny Him, 
I will deny you.' It was the only word I had from my 
mother. So I could not say the Moslem words, though 
I tried to." 

Strangely, some disturbance had occurred, and in 
the confusion she had been included among the girls 
who had repeated the fatal words. She had survived, 
without disobeying her mother's command. "I can 
tell her that when I see her/' she said. 

"You have heard from her, then? You know where 
she is?" 

"No. Of course she may be dead. But she was very 
strong. If she lived I will meet her some day and tell 

She was making no effort to find her mother indeed, 
there was no effort she could have made but her man 
ner was confident. And four years later, on the wharf 
in Piraus, the harbor of Athens, I heard a sudden 
wild shriek. "My mother! My mother!" It was this 
girl, now a refugee from Smyrna, recognizing a woman 
on the crowded deck of a refugee-transport from the 
Black Sea- Once more they were both refugees; once 
more the hundred thousands of Armenians were adrift, 
and chance had brought these two together again. 

The developments of these four years were unimagi 
nable when she was in the Rescue Home in Scutari. 
The Armistice had just been signed; the Peace of Ver 
sailles and the Treaty of Sevres were in the making. 


Americans, knowing no better, thought that the war 
was ended. Turkey was beaten helpless at the feet 
of Western conquerors. English officers walked the 
streets of Constantinople with that air of rulers of 
earth which they have perhaps acquired from ruling 
so much of it. The Turks moved quickly aside to let 
them pass. When the English spoke, Turkey obeyed. 
The English had said that Christian girls must be re 
leased; they were released. When there was a rumour 
that a Christian girl was in a Turkish house. Allied 
soldiers walked through the ancient sanctities of the 
harem as though Turkish customs were tissue paper. 
The Allies were lords of all the debris of ancient 
peoples and civilizations, from the Mediterranean to 
the Black Sea and the Caspian. The only question 
was the ratio in which they would divide the spoils, 
and that was to be decided at their conference tables. 
Meantime the Arabs were relying on England's 
promise of their freedom when they had helped to de 
feat Turkey, and dreaming happily of the Arab king 
dom of Syria which had been promised to France; 
the Kurds were claiming independence and killing the 
Assyrians, remnant of the people who had oppressed 
the Kurds thirty centuries ago; in the north the 
Armenian Republic was rising, aflame with President 
Wilson's Fourteen Points, and claiming the old boun 
daries of Caucasian Armenia in payment for services 
to the Allies during the war; and a handful of English 
policed the swarming populations, held Mesopotamia, 
Syria and Cilicia, and controlled the Bagdad railway 
which would take us across Turkey to Marash. 



ETE In April, 1919, a special train left the little 
station of Haidar Pasha on the shores of the 
Bosphorus, and began its journey toward 
Aleppo. This train was made up of ten boxcars, seven 
containing medical supplies. In the other three, with 
beds, blankets, trunks and food supplies, rode Dr. 
Lambert and I, accompanied by four American 

This journey eastward across Turkey was as primi 
tive in manner, and in its way as adventurous, as the 
journey of the American pioneers toward the West. 
Each morning we knew no more than they at what 
point we would arrive before darkness overtook us, and 
although the invisible power of the British protected 
the thin line of rails beneath us from the nomad tribes 
that prey on caravans, at every stop we had to be 
watchful that none of the boxcars of supplies were 
stolen by local Turkish railroad men. 

A Turkish engineer in a fez was at the throttle of 
the little engine, a Turkish fireman worked beside him. 
The station-masters and the ragged porters were 
Turks. But at each station the British Empire was 
represented by one smartly-uniformed, lonely English 
man, who hailed us with pitiful delight in seeing again 



white faces and hearing once more his own language. 
Simply by their air of being predestined rulers of all 
dark-skinned peoples, this thin string of Englishmen 
was holding the Bagdad railway, a cause and a prize 
of the Great War. 

All one day we ran through beautifully wooded 
mountains, a country not unlike the Alleghanies. We 
picnicked on the floor of the boxcar,, spreading cold 
food on a packing case and making tea over an alcohol 
stove. At night, making up our army cots, we slept, 
with the mountain air flowing through the half-open 

The forests were left behind next day, when we 
turned from the sea at Ismid and struck into the in 
terior of Turkey. The mountains retreated to the 
very edge of the world. Around us" spread the barren 
plains of Asia Minor, a land that looked as though it 
had been uninhabited since the creation of the earth. 
All the civilizations known to man from the beginning 
of memory to the fall of the Arabian Empire have 
flowed across these plains, and ebbed from them, leav 
ing only bare earth under an empty sky. 

The dominion of the Ottoman Turks, that nomad 
band of Mongolian warriors who overthrew the Arabian 
Empire, has not been civilization. It has built no 
roads, no irrigation systems; it has developed neither 
its peoples nor its natural resources. The Turks were 
a flying wedge of fighters that captured the capitals 
of the countries they invaded. For six hundred years 
they have held these capitals against the will of their 
subject populations, and against the attacks of Europe. 


When, with the beginning of the machine age in the 
West, these attacks ceased to be military and became 
industrial and commercial, the Turk's defense against 
them was to close the doors of his empire against all 
Western development. Unskilled himself in industrial 
and commercial arts, unable had he wished to de 
velop Turkey for the Turks, he knew very well that 
Europeans, if allowed to enter, would develop it for 
the Europeans. He preferred to keep it undeveloped. 
He preferred handwork to machinework, caravans to 
railroads, leisurely drinking of coffee in his cafes to 
the energetic, vigorous and exhausting life of the West. 
He rested content with the will of Allah. 

Sitting in the door of the crawling boxcar, my feet 
dangling over the threshold and my eyes contemplat 
ing the barren land, I remembered the passionate words 
of a young Moslem, rebelling against that contentment. 
"We must not submit any longer to the will of Allah I" 
he had said. "Civilization is man's rebellion against 
God. What! should I go unclothed, because God 
caused me to be born naked? God made me naked, 
but I will not leave myself as God made me; I will 
clothe myself. That is rebellion against God; that 
is civilization. God makes the rivers and the moun 
tains as they are, but man stands up and says that 
he does not like God's work. Man remakes the moun 
tains, cuts them down, drives tunnels through them, 
digs minerals from them. God makes the rivers to 
run to the sea, but man stands up and says ? l l can 
make the rivers run better than God made them run. 
I can make them water my fields.' That is civiliza- 


tion rebellion against the ways of God. That is what 
my country needs. 3 ' 

He had expressed, I thought, both the Eastern idea 
of God, which is so alien to our conception of Him, and 
the ambition of Young Turkey, which had risen too 
late and been too feeble to save the Turk. Ambitious 
Young Turkey had appeared only after European Im 
perialism had used the discontent of the Christian 
peoples in the Turkish Empire as a tool with which 
to cut away the western edges of Turkey. After 
Greece had been freed, the Sultans had known no way 
to dispose of the danger of Christian populations in 
Turkey save by slaughtering them. This naive and 
horrible policy had only been seized upon as another 
weapon of European Imperialism, The Sultan mas 
sacred the restless Bulgarians; and Europe freed Bul 
garia. After Bulgaria, Herzegovina, Croatia and 
Bosnia had been cut from the Turkish Empire and set 
up as small dependencies of the Great Powers of 
Europe, the Young Turk had risen with this cry of 
"rebellion against Allah, 77 this declaration that Turkey 
must civilize herself in order to save herself. But his 
effort came too late. Imperialist Germany wanted her 
expansion in the East the Berlin-Bagdad railway; 
Tsarist Russia wanted Constantinople; the British Em 
pire^ ver y iif e was threatened by a cutting of the sea- 
route to India, and in this part of the world the Great 
War was the struggle of these Powers for the bones 
of Turkey. 

That war had been fought, and now we were riding 
across Turkey in a boxcar on the Bagdad railway; 


six Americans and seven boxcars of supplies, a small 
part of the American effort to save the helpless peoples 
of the world from the consequences of their govern 
ments' imperialistic policies. The war was over, and 
won. England held the Bagdad railway, and Syria, 
and Mesopotamia, and Cilicia; the Allies were in Con 
stantinople. Europe had conquered, I thought as we 
were all thinking in those days and the six-century- 
old dominion of the barbarian Turk over this fertile 
yet desolate land was ended. British and French would 
develop the country, there would be railways, mines, 
oil-wells, factories, modern farms, automobiles, tele 
phones; and these millions of dark-skinned peoples 
would be working for London and Paris. 

The train stopped at a little station-; Americans 
jumped from either side of it to keep the seven box 
cars under their eyes. Scattered beside the track, 
Kurds and Turks and Chetas looked at us with enig 
matic eyes under black eyebrows and swathed turbans; 
their broad, coloured sashes were arsenals of revolvers 
and knives; their garments, all of bright colours, fell 
about them in picturesque folds. There was something 
disturbing, something old and relentless and fierce and 
suave, in their gaze at us* It made me feel my pro 
fessional sense of the necessity of dominating a situa 
tion that threatens to be difficult. It was nothing; it 
passed in a second, with the sound of a boyish English 
voice saying, "How do you do? I say, it's jolly good 
to see you P 

Poor lonely boy, carrying the dignity and weight of 
Empire on his slim shoulders, day and night, before all 


those watching eyes! And certainly it was good to 
see him, to hear his clipped English words, and to feel 
that England was here England bringing peace, and 
work, and safety at last for the Christian peoples of 

Always, at every station, the lone Britisher came 
hastening to us, to look at us with eyes hungry for the 
sight of white faces, to ask innumerable hurried ques 
tions, to offer everything that could be imagined to 
make us more comfortable, tQ clutch at the very last 
second of our time, and to stand saluting us as the 
train pulled out, leaving him on the platform sur 
rounded by a few tumble-down mud huts and the 
barren plain. 

On the third day we came to Eski Cherher, the city 
to which the Turkish government prepared to move 
when it expected the Allies to take the Dardanelles. 
It is a typical city of interior Turkey, a magnified 
village, where perhaps 40,000 people live in mud- walled 
houses hidden in courtyards. Water runs in gutters in 
the middle of the crooked, narrow streets, serving im 
partially as sewer, water-supply, wash-tub, and pad 
dling place for ducks. Flocks of sheep clatter hoofs 
on the cobbles; here and there a milch goat is tied to 
the post of an open shop-front, where a Turk sits 
cross-legged, making the cigarettes or fezzes or wooden 
saddles that he sells. The streets of the bazaar are 
choked with jabbering, gesticulating crowds of men, 
dirty, ragged and picturesque; the few women are mov 
ing swathes of black cloth. One never sees a Moslem 
woman's face after leaving the sea-coast of Turkey. 


Meerschaum is mined near Eski Cherher, and in the 
market place we saw quantities of it, worked into ciga 
rette holders, pipe-bowls and ornaments. 

Thence we were carried off to tea in the British 
officers' mess. We hesitated about going, fearing that 
our train would be sent on without us, but our four 
hosts laughed away the idea. "We're the masters 
here," said they. "Your train won't move until we 
say the word." 

We were persuaded, and the crowds opened respect 
ful lanes before the British uniforms. Yet there was 
something ominous even in their alacrity, and I thought 
and laughed at the thought of wild animals moving 
docilely to obey the orders of the trainer's whip. 

Tea was perfectly served by native servants in the 
officers' quarters, with English cake and Damascus 
sweets, and at our every suggestion of leaving our 
hosts reiterated their assurance that the train would 
await their pleasure. When at length, regretfully, we 
tore ourselves away, two of the officers announced that 
urgent business called them down the line, and sent 
orders to have their car attached to our train. When 
we reached the station this had been done, and all the 
next day the atmosphere of our boxcar was that of a 
pleasant English week-end. 

Five days from Constantinople, we arrived in Konia. 
Only this fragment of the name Icomum remains of 
the city that the Romans built on the old Roman- 
Arabian road for nineteen hundred years ago Rome 
was fighting the same fight that Europe is waging to 
day, for possession of trade-routes to the East, Konia 


is now tumble-down, filthy, picturesque, crowded and 
disease-ridden, like all Turkish interior cities; it is 
renowned as the centre of the sects of dancing and 
whirling dervishes. Here we were surprised to find 
a large number of Italian soldiers; stationed there, no 
one knew why. At least, if the Italians knew the 
reason for their swift dispatch through Ismid to Konia, 
they had not communicated it to Americans or Eng 
lish. Some secret move on the diplomatic chessboard 
had flung them from Italy to this wretched spot, and 
here they stayed, until some months later they as mys 
teriously and unceremoniously departed. Italy had 
been checkmated, then, in her clutch at Asia Minor, 
and the Greek pawn had been moved into Smyrna. 

In Konia we met Miss Cushman, that remarkable 
American woman who, all through the war, doggedly 
stayed in Konia, with all the Allied consulates left in 
her care, as well as the work of the Mission Boards 
and the management of the American Hospital. Here, 
too, appeared once more that magic of the American 
woman's home-making ability, surprisingly revealed 
by the war and the peace. American women are the 
only women in the world who, far from home, in primi 
tive countries, without any familiar materials, set to 
work with whatever they can lay hand upon, and make 
a home. Somehow they curtain windows, create 
couches and tables and chairs from packing-cases, 
make leather cushions of sheeps' skins, table covers of 
peasant's petticoats; then they set a flowering almond 
branch in a pottery jar and there, triumphantly, is an 
American living-room, tasteful, charming, comfortable. 


In every language of Europe and Asia, men marvel 
at this. 

Not the least remarkable among such American 
homes created by relief workers in strange countries 
is that of Miss Cushman of Konia, who made it while 
doing the work of six men in an enemy country during 
the war. Here we rested over night, with luxury of 
warm water in which to wash and a motionless bed in 
which to sleep, and a dinner such as we had not eaten 
since leaving America. Our imperishable memory of 
Konia is Miss Cushman's hot biscuits. We are still 
wondering how she got the baking-powder. 

The next day I was sitting in the boxcar watching 
the interminable waves of sand go slowly by, when I 
happened to glance backward down the tracks, and saw 
a great lake stretching into the distance and lapping 
lazy curls of waves upon its shore. Five minutes 
earlier we had passed that way, and 1 had gazed on 
empty land, where now the lake lay ruffling and 
sparkling in the sun. For an hour it followed beside 
the track ; while I watched its metallic flashes and blue 
reflections of the sky, and then its unreality was gone 
as mysteriously as it had come. 

That night the setting sun turned the sand to gold 
'and spread a wash of pure rose across the sky, 00 the 
edge of the golden sands three camels moved slowly, 
black silhouettes against the rosy light. 

We woke in the Taurus mountains, to see mountain 

peaks toweriBg above us and to hear the roar of water- 


falls in gorges. The train crawled snake-like in and 
out of folds of mountain sides, and halted with clutch 
ing of brakes at the edge of chasms. There was a scent 
of pine and snow in the air. The black mouth of the 
Taurus tunnel waited a long time for us, and at length 
we plunged into its darkness. 

This tunnel, the second longest in the world, had 
just been completed; our train was one of the first to 
go through it. Germany had begun it before the 
war; Turkey had finished it during the war, using Eng 
lish prisoners as directors and foremen. It was the new 
gate to Cilicia. Formerly, passengers had been obliged 
to leave the train and to climb on foot or on mules, 
over the Taurus Pass and through the Cilician gates, 
to descend to another train waiting on the other side. 
We could remain in our boxcar, blinded by the arti 
ficial night, and tantalized now and then by a glimpse 
of daylight and magnificent gorge and waterfall, seen 
so rapidly in the flashing-past of a stone archway that 
we did not so much see them as remember an impres 
sion left on optic nerves. Then in a moment the dark 
ness had gone, the train had stopped, and there were 
English uniforms once more, and eager impatient voices 
saying, "Come along! Come along! We want to take 
you for a drivel" 

Again we protested that we could not leave the train, 
again our protests fell baffled against the wall of British 
lordliness, "Come along! My word, the train will 
wait until we tell it to go! "and we were bundled into 
a seven-passenger car and whirled away on the most 
magnificent drive we had ever known, up through the 


gigantic gorge of Taurus Pass. Waterfalls roared 
downward to join the roaring stream, cliffs towered 
overhead, and with every curve of the looping road, 
vista after vista opened before us. It was an hour 
of perfection, a summit of delight very rarely reached. 
Then the purring car brought us again to the train 
which, true enough, had patiently waited and our 
hosts deposited us once more in the boxcar. 

The next stop was at Adana, where the train must 
be divided. Our engine could pull only five cars up 
the steep grade beyond the city, and Dr. Lambert left 
us here, taking on the first half of the train and leav 
ing the second half in my charge, to bring on when 
the engine should return for it. At Adana there was a 
large camp of Hindoo soldiers, and our train had hardly 
stopped when a British officer was hailing it and asking 
if there were a doctor on board. "One of my best men 
is most frightfully ill, would you be so good as to look 
at him?" 

With some concealed trepidation I walked through 
the camp, saluted by tall, grave Hindoos, and entered 
the tent in which the patient was lying. I anticipated 
objections to a woman doctor, but the big Hindoo was 
quite docile and dumbly grateful for help. He was 
prostrated in the exhaustion of malaria, one of the 
devastating scourges of these countries. I examined 
and prescribed for him, while his large eyes looked at 
me and at the officer with a pleading like the clutch of 
a frightened child's hand. The officer spoke to him In 
his own language, and outside the tent was almost un- 


English in his expressions of gratitude, pressing upon 
us gifts of English jams and a side of bacon. 

That evening, for our entertainment, he commanded 
his Arab orderly to dance for us. A bonfire was built 
beside the boxcar, and we sat in a row in the open door, 
while the Arab, playing a weird, stringed instrument, 
sang desert songs and danced the slow, graceful 
Arabian dances in the firelight until the late moon came 
over the mountain-tops. 

Adana is the usual Turkish city, in a desolate miser 
able country of treeless, black mountains. Near East 
Relief work had begun there, and the American Mis 
sion schools that had lived through the war were re 
viving. In Adana we were as near to Marash as we 
would be in Aleppo, but there was no way of getting 
our supplies across the mountain ranges. So for three 
more days our train crawled onward through the 
mountains, and now that responsibility for the supplies 
rested on me, I got out at every stop to make sure 
that the five cars were still with us. So I must have 
descended at Islahai, the little station which is only 
seventy-five miles from Marash. But it made no im 
pression on my mind, and I was far from suspecting 
that Islahai would one day mean the difference between 
life and death to me. 

Near East Relief work was also started at Aleppo, 
which was crowded as we then thought, little antici 
pating how much more crowded it would become with 
Armenian refugees who had saved nothing but their 
lives from the war and deportations. They were pour- 


ing back now ? by the tens of thousands, to their former 
homes, and it was to help them live until they were 
settled and working again that we had come to Cilicia. 
After two days in Aleppo, checking our supplies and 
arranging for them to follow us, we began the last stage 
of our journey in an automobile; a hundred and fifty 
miles to Marash, in the heart of the Hittite country. 


It was a beautiful spring day, the air still snow- 
cooled, and thousands of little flowers blossoming in 
the hollows. The road, many centuries old, wound 
around mountain sides and ran through green valleys 
and in and out of flat-roofed villages where innumer 
able dogs assailed our whirling wheels. All along the 
way the refugees were coming in, returning patiently 
on foot, with bundles on their backs, to their old homes 
in the villages and in Marash. 

Late in the afternoon the city appeared before us, 
white and green amid blossoming trees, climbing a 
mountain side. Below it was spread its wide valley of 
ricefields, and from the midst of it rose the old citadel 
that has seen with the same indifference the sprouting 
and the harvest of so many centuries of rice and the 
rise and fall of so many empires. 

Our car ran into the market place, beneath the cov 
ered Oriental bazaars of age-rotted wood and moulder 
ing stone, where all goods and foods and colours are 
jumbled together in the darkness, and bargaining goes 
on in scores of languages while claw-like hands finger 
the heaps of merchandise. We ran into these bazaars, 
and could go no f urther ? for the excited crowds came 


surging down upon us, a sea of bright dark eyes and 
turbans and dangling, gilded coins and blue bead 
charms, and an outcry of voices. What new wonder 
was this? they cried, pushing and struggling to get a 
better view of us and our automobile, while bracelets 
and necklaces chimed together, and children screamed 
and women clutched veils tighter across their faces and 
shrieked shrill comments, aoid our chauffeur vainly 
honked the horn. 

This was our welcome to Marash, where our arrival 
spread an excitement and wonder only equalled by 
the sensation at the entrance of the English, two weeks 


WE were in the heart of Cilicia, whose moun 
tain peaks and fertile valleys have been a 
stronghold and a prize of war since the days 
when the Hittites reigned here. High on the crags of 
the Taurus range still stand the old castle forts built 
by many races of men_, besieged and stormed and 
burned and rebuilt again through succeeding genera 
tions, and in the inaccessible recesses of wild gorges 
live fragments of all the peoples whose empires have 
risen and fallen since the centuries before history 
began. A debris of races, mixed together but never 
mingling, a clashing of innumerable prides and hatreds 
whose very origins are forgotten; scores of hands 
clutching, and obstinately clinging to the hope of re 
gaining an old dominion over all the others. Not 
least among these dogged claims to a revival of former 
power was that of the Armenians, whose empire in 
Cilicia was ended only yesterday, as the mountains 
and these people count time* 

The Empire of Great Armenia rose in prehistoric 
times at the foot of Mount Ararat in the Caucasus* 
The long story of its waxing and waning power, Its 
conflicts with peoples whose names are lost, and with 
Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes, Persians and Mace- 


donians, ended in the fourth century when Great 
Armenia crumbled and disappeared under combined 
attacks of the Byzantine Empire and the Persians. 
Only a few independent princes remained, in strong 
holds among the mountains, and the last of these were 
engulfed when the great wave of Mongolian peoples 
swept down upon Europe in the eleventh century. The 
Huns and Tartars, winning battle after battle against 
the Byzantine Greeks, occupied the whole of the 

It was then that several Armenian princes fled from 
the Caucasian ranges southward, to attack the old 
castle forts on the defiant peaks of the Taurus ranges. 
Having captured several of these, they appealed to the 
Byzantine Empire for recognition, and the Greek em 
perors of Constantinople confirmed them in their new 
possessions. From these strongholds they successfully 
resisted the continued invasions of the Tartars, and 
established the royal dynasty of Little Armenia in 

Here the first Crusaders from Europe found them 
installed, strongly fortified, and courageously beating 
back the persistent waves of the Mongolian advance. 
The mailed knights of France had hardly disembarked 
on the shores of Cilicia, when they were welcomed by 
Constantin, King of Little Armenia, who had hastened 
down from his mountain stronghold to offer hospitality 
to friendly warriors from unknown lands. His hardy 
mountaineers, assembled behind him, greeted with their 
rallying war-cries the ranks of fighting peasants from 
Europe, and the two forces camped together, while in 


the tent of Constantin the Prankish knights, seated on 
royal rugs, were served with interminable courses of 
wild game and Armenian delicacies, washed down with 
floods of good Armenian wine. 

Valiantly aided by their new allies, the Crusaders 
won battle after battle against the pagan Mongolians, 
and when winter brought a truce to fighting, and famine 
became the enemy, long trains of pack-donkeys wound 
down the trails of the Taurus ranges, bringing bread 
and meat and wine, gifts from the Armenians which 
saved the lives of the tottering, skeleton Crusaders. 
In gratitude, King Constantin was given the title of 
Baron of France, and until his death he fought ably 
by the side of the French chevaliers. 

His title was inherited by his son, who confirmed the 
Armenian alliance with the Crusaders, now become 
kings of Palestine. Fighting unaided, the Armenians 
so disastrously defeated the Mongolians amid the 
gorges of the Taurus that Armenians still sing of the 
rivers which that day ran red with Turkish blood. 
After this victory, the Armenians hastened to the aid 
of the French of Antioch, who were desperately strug 
gling against the Arabian Moslem invasion from Syria, 
and when this war had been won, both Armenians and 
French turned against the Byzantine Greek Empire, 

But this established policy of alliance with the 
French, faithfully followed by successive kings who 
bore the title of King of Armenia and Baron of France, 
led at length to the eclipse of their kingdom. Vic 
torious Byzantine armies so devastated Armenia that 
famine forced King Leon to surrender, and he was 


taken to Constantinople where as was usual when 
kings were captured he died in a dungeon. The 
Byzantine Empire became master of Little Armenia. 

But it remained master only until King Leon's son 
Theodore, who was held as a hostage in Constanti 
nople, could grow to manhood. Then, in 1143, he 
escaped from the Byzantine court, and in the rags of 
a beggar made his way into the Taurus mountains, 
where safely in an Armenian village, he disclosed his 
identity. The Armenian mountaineers rose as one man 
to fight for him, and before the fury of their onslaught 
the Byzantine Empire was defeated; the Greeks fled 
from the mountains, and the kingdom of Little Ar 
menia held them once more. 

Constantinople, however, still held Cilicia's valleys 
and seaports, thus cutting off Armenia's communication 
with her allies, the French kings of Palestine. King 
after king of Armenia continued the war for seaports 
and valleys; thirty years of desperate fighting, of sally 
ing from the safety of the mountains to battle on the 
plains, of defeats and undaunted fresh attacks, at last 
won for Little Armenia again the whole of Cilicia. 

Peace with the Byzantine Greek Empire, and the 
accompanying free intercourse with the French, might 
have made In the Taurus another golden age of 
Armenia, had there not been an outbreak of religious 
wars. A difference of opinion as to the exact nature 
of Christ's divinity before His baptism by John the 
Baptist began afresh the murderous war between 
Armenian Gregorian Christian and Byzantine Greek 
Orthodox Christian, and in the midst of this war 

Saladin, King of the Moslem Arabs, besieged and took 

Jerusalem had fallen, and Europe poured forth a new 
Crusade against the infidel, led this time by Frederick 
of Germany. Again the disembarking Crusaders were 
met by welcoming emissaries from the Armenian court, 
bearing gifts and asking for their master the royal 
crown of a vassal. Frederick granted the request, but 
King Leon had barely received the message that he 
was now King of Armenia, Baron of France, Baron of 
Germany, when it was followed by news that the Em 
peror Frederick had been drowned. Undiscouraged by 
this calamity, Leon hastened to send diplomats from 
his court to the courts of the Pope and of Henry the 
Fourth, asking confirmation of his new title. The 
enterprise succeeded, and Conrad, Archbishop of May- 
ence, travelled in person all the way to the court of 
Armenia to bestow upon Leon the royal crown. 

Thus recognized, Leon was safe from Byzantine at 
tack. The declining Byzantine Empire, besieged on 
all sides and crumbling beneath the blows of Moslems 
and pagans, dared not offend the Christian Powers of 
Europe. They were themselves formidable enemies of 
the harassed Byzantine empire, but at least they were 
enemies of its Moslem and pagan enemies. Constanti 
nople therefore hastened to send to Leon another royal 
diadem, and to point out that allegiance to the Byzan 
tine Empire was wiser than fidelity to European 
princes, who were farther away. Leon did not refuse 
to listen, nor to accept this second crown, and the 
envoys returned to Constantinople bearing princely 


gifts, but not the slightest yielding of Armenia's inde 

The history of little states that rise when an empire 
falls, is always a kaleidoscope. Time turns it rapidly, 
and the pieces continually fall into new patterns. The 
Armenian kingdom was such a little state, created by 
a few Armenian princes who maintained their freedom 
after their own empire was destroyed. Now the Byzan 
tine Empire was disintegrating, and all the nations of 
that time tried to seize bits of it. The Crusaders came 
to fight for Christ, and remained to fight for them 
selves. The French, who had been received as allies 
by the Armenians, grew strong enough to attack them, 
and did so. Year by year, as the kaleidoscope turns, 
Armenia appears defending herself against the French, 
against the Byzantine Greeks, against the Arabs, 
against the Mongolians. 

Leon died, and his little daughter Isabel, sixteen 
years old, became Queen of Armenia. Immediately 
the French kings of Palestine attacked her, but her 
nobles fought so well that the French were defeated, 
and fell back upon diplomacy. Philip of Antioch mar 
ried Isabel, but his plan of thus annexing Armenia was 
combated by the Armenian nobles, who threw him into 
prison, where he died. 

An Armenian noble became Isabel's second husband, 
and under their reign Little Armenia reached the zenith 
of her glory. Her ports were important centres of com 
merce both from East and West, and her caravan 
routes ran far into Persia, India and Arabia. 

The Armenian court was all that was etegant and 


gallant, in the very latest Paris mode. Satins and silks 
and lace frills decked the courtiers, who doffed their 
plumed hats and managed their swords with all the 
grace of France. The language of the Franks replaced 
the sturdier accents of their own tongue, which was 
relegated to peasants, to mountaineers and to the serv 
ants in the courtyards of the castles. The royal de 
crees were based upon those of France, and even the 
Armenian clergy imported into their own Church many 
of the rites of French Christendom, while the grace 
ful, if light, morals and manners of Christian-Arabian 
chivalry were the fashion of the day. Feudal institu 
tions were established, and as the division between the 
nobles and their sturdy mountain tribesmen became 
more marked, the feudal law of Antioch was made the 
law of Little Armenia. 

At the same time, Armenian literature and art re 
vived from the decline into which it had fallen in the 
seventh century. Innumerable poets, historians and 
theological writers appeared in the monasteries. Many 
of them wrote in French, especially those who produced 
semi-historical tales, such as The Marvellous History 
of the Great Khan. This age in Armenian letters is 
second only to that of the Golden Age, which had 
ended six centuries earlier. 

All these glories were brief. Little Armenia^ isolated 
and obstinately independent as the Armenians have 
always been, could not overcome single-handed the 
fresh invasions of pagan Turks and Mongols who 
threw themselves upon her in 1244 AJX The terrible 
warriors from the steppes of North-eastern Asia were 


ravaging Persia and the Caucasus and irresistibly flood 
ing south-westward. 

Little Armenia chose the better part of valour, and 
made an alliance with the Mongols when they crossed 
the Euphrates to attack Moslem Syria, The Arabs 
were defeated, and Little Armenia was given as her 
share of the spoils a part of Syria. The King of 
Armenia was received with every honour at the court 
of the Great Khan of the Mongols, and with reciprocal 
courtesy the two monarchs discussed the relative merits 
of Christianity, the religion of Armenia, and polythe 
istic paganism, which was the religion of the Mon 

But this alliance, and its triumphant advance toward 
the shores of Egypt, roused the Egyptians to defense. 
They raided Armenia, and although they were de 
feated, they captured and made off with the king's 
son. This Prince-Royal was ransomed only by the 
yielding of a part of Syria to Egypt, and such was 
the king's grief at this loss and disgrace that he re 
nounced his throne and retired to a monastery. The 
ransomed prince reigned in his stead, but from their 
foothold in Syria the Egyptians so successfully at 
tacked him that, although the Great Khan sent re 
inforcements to aid him, the Armenians were driven 
back across the Euphrates. 

History endlessly repeats itself. The Armenians had 
received the French as friends, had succoured and sup 
ported them, only to see them attack her in her moment 
of weakness* Now, while the victorious Egyptians 
were driving the French out of Asia, Armenia's Mon- 


golian allies, who had been on the verge of becoming 
Christians, suddenly embraced the Moslem faith and 
allied themselves with the Egyptians against Armenia. 

The remainder of Little Armenia's story is chapter 
after chapter of desperate intrigue and fighting to save 
herself from inevitable ruin. Attacked by both Mon 
gols and Egyptians, the last kings made despairing 
efforts to save their country by appeals to Constanti 
nople and to the Christian princes of Europe. In 
numerable romances might be written of those times. 

Leon, the last king, married Marie, a niece of the 
Byzantine Emperor. Attended by her ladies, this 
young princess came in a camel caravan all the way 
from Constantinople to the castle of Armenia's king, 
in the Taurus mountains. But the very festival of her 
marriage and coronation was interrupted by news that 
the Egyptians were disembarking troops in Cilicia. 
These forces were so overpowering that King Leon was 
obliged to buy peace from the Sultan with an enormous 
sum of gold. The Egyptians retreated, but the danger 
of a second attack was so threatening that Leon sent 
ambassadors to Europe to ask for help from the Chris 
tian princes. 

Hearing that he had done this, the Sultan despatched 
a new army, which the Armenians fought desperately 
but unavailingly. The Egyptians occupied the whole 
of Armenia, and Leon fled into the heart of the moun 
tains, leaving his queen in their castle-stronghold, with 
her two small children. 

Years passed, and no word came from him. He was 
thought to be dead, when one day Prince Otto of 


Brunswick appeared before the castle gates with a 
force of men-at-arms, come to rescue Armenia and inci 
dentally to rule it. A marriage was arranged between 
him and Queen Marie, but on the eve of the wedding 
a band of Armenian mountaineers appeared, and at 
their head was Leon, ^ing of Armenia, in the costume 
of a mountain chief. 

This startling reappearance, of course, prevented the 
marriage, and Otto of Brunswick departed unwed and 
uncrowned. Immediately the castle was besieged by 
fresh Egyptian armies who had come to attack Otto 
and remained to besiege Leon. The siege continued, 
with daily battles, during nine months, and in the end 
Leon was forced to surrender the castle and the rem 
nants of the garrison, who were dying more rapidly of 
hunger than of wounds. 

Leon and Marie and their children were taken cap 
tive to Jerusalem, where the Queen and her daughter 
were immured in the Convent of St. Jacques. Their 
tombs may still be seen there. Leon and his son, the 
prince, were taken to Cairo and lay for six years in 
dungeons. The King of Castile at last effected their 
release, and Leon travelled to Spain to thank his pro 
tector, while the young Prince went to Venice, and 
completely disappeared. To this day no trace of him 
has ever been found. Leon remained at the court of 
Spain, until he had perhaps exhausted his welcome, 
when he went to Paris. The King of France granted 
him a pension suitable to his rank as Baron of France, 
and he lived in Paris until he died and was buried in 
Saint Denis. 


Little Armenia had ceased to exist. Only the empty 
title of king remained, and the Armenian people. The 
title passed downward through generations of Euro 
pean noble families, changing from one to another^as 
branches became extinct, until it became a possession 
of the House of Savoy, whose heir is still technically 
King of Little Armenia. 

The people continued to live under the successive 
dominations of Egyptians, Arabs, and Turks, and they 
are still living in the mountain passes of the Taurus 


It was a fragment of these people, the Armenian 
mountaineers of Zeitoun, in their impregnable, natural 
fortress near Marash, who in 1915 rose against their 
Turkish masters, and for three years fought such 
battles and resisted such sieges as their ancestors had 
known when King Leon reigned. The narrow moun 
tain pass that they held against both Turks and Ger 
mans was another Thermopylae, in the year 1917. 
Only German siege artillery defeated them at last, 
and even then they did not surrender, but, driven from 
the cliffs by the terrific shelling, five thousand of them 
fought their way out of the mountains and across 
Cilicia to the seacoast There for ten days they held 
out against the Turks, while a Red Cross flag that they 
had made, appealed to the empty seas for help. A 
French warship saw them at last, and carried the sur 
vivors, numbering three thousand, to refugee camps 
in Egypt, while the Germans who had captured several 
of their leaders, solemnly executed them in Marash, 

Such was the history, and such the people, of the 


Armenia that centred around Marash when we went 
into it. These three thousand were part of the stream 
of refugees pouring back to their wrecked homes, under 
the protection of the Allied flags. 

Hardy and courageous and ignorant as they were 
when Leon reigned, they still preserved, like Kurds 
and Assyrians and many other remnants of ancient 
empires hidden amid the mountains, the customs and 
manners and traditions of their long-past glorious days. 
Centuries had passed like years over their heads, leav 
ing them unchanged, and still they thought of their 
kingdom as a reality, and of the future as promising 
them a revival of their old liberty and power. 


MY first duty in Marash was the taking over of 
the German missionary hospital. All Ger 
man subjects in Turkey had been ordered to 
leave; the British had taken the hospital and given it 
to us. 

It was painful to take it from the nurse who had put 
twenty-one years of her life into it. She was a plain, 
good woman, grown stout with middle-age, a smooth 
line of graying hair beneath her nurse's cap- Through 
the war she had stuck to her post, fighting increasing 
disease with her dwindling stock of drugs and sup 
plies; the pitifully empty shelves of pharmacy and 
storeroom, the careful darns in sheets and towels, 
showed how hard she had struggled. 

She had left Germany as a young woman; her 
whole life had gone into this medical missionary work 
among Kurds and Turks and Armenians, and her Idea 
of Germany had been made by twenty years of remem 
bering her girlhood there. Now she was told that Ger 
many was defeated, that she must give up her hospital 
and leave Turkey. She could not believe the news, 
Germany, her country, defeated? Her hospital, the 
work of twenty years, her home, taken from her? She 
went about the corridors and wards in a daze, packed 






her few personal belongings, and left, a figure of mute 
tragedy that was hard to forget. 

The hospital was a three-story building of stone, 
standing in a large compound with a fountain and 
trees. In the higher part of Marash, it commanded 
from its windows a view of the flat roofs and fruit 
trees spreading down the slope below us, then the val 
ley's bright, velvety green of ricefields, and the stupen 
dous mountains. 

The hospital was meticulously clean, though bare of 
supplies. I inherited a good Armenian staff, nurses, 
pharmacist and surgeon. When storerooms and phar 
macy were filled with our goods, we set about enclos 
ing the porches to make more wards, and opened a 
clinic. In a few weeks our minds had adjusted them 
selves to the strange colors of Marash, and life became 
the usual, always interesting, routine of medical work. 

News of our clinic went like a wind through the 
mountains. Marash is the end of the one hundred and 
fifty-mile-long wagon road that goes to the railway; be 
yond Marash the mountain trails are often impassable 
even on horseback. Yet it was from these mountains 
that our patients came, and the clinic had not been 
open a week when in the early mornings we looked 
from our windows to see a mass of strange peoples be 
sieging its door. 

There were the Kurds, tall men and handsome 
women in strange high head-dresses, who, even when 
so ill that my American would have been unable to 
walk, carried themselves with the dignity and pride of 
royalty. There were the Armenians of Zeitoun, with 


rifles on their backs and sashes bristling with more 
weapons than seven hands could use; these came from 
the mountain stronghold to which they had returned 
from Egypt. There were always numbers of Turkish 
women, covered with thick folds of black cloth. 

As summer grew hotter my little Armenian inter 
preter, Aznive, always picked out these Turkish women 
and sent them in to me first. Until they were called 
they would sit in the terrific heat, smothering under the 
thick folds that covered their faces so that no breath of 
air could reach them. In my office, one eye peeped out 
to see that no man was there, then, with a great breath 
of relief, the heavy veil went back and the white face 
streaming with sweat appeared. Often I wondered 
that they did not faint in the streets. 

Then, as they answered my questions, there ap 
peared all the amazing medical barbarities committed 
on these helpless women by superstitious midwives 
and neighbours as ignorant as they burnings, fright 
ful operations ; doses of urine, dances of the dying, 
driving out of the demons of delirium by pounding of 
pans in the sickroom. Even the slightest medical 
knowledge in Turkey would save every year millen 
niums of torture of women, 

They were so pitifully grateful for help that often 
there were tears in my eyes, and a hundred times a 
day I felt myself unworthy to be receiving the thanks 
that really belonged to the women of America who had 
sent me to Marash. In a few weeks I knew* by heart 
the Turkish phrases meaning^ "I kiss your hands and 
your feet; I am well." 


After the Turkish women came the women of the 
mountains. "Where do you come from?" I would 
ask, when a costume more rich in colour and stranger 
in line than usual appeared in the open door. Always 
they answered, "Nine hours. 7 ' "Eleven hours." Never 
the name of their people or their village., always the 
distance in time. For so many hours, sometimes almost 
dying, they climbed up and down the mountain trails 
to reach the miracle of medical help. Often women 
were brought in clinging to the bent back of husband 
or brother, or carried in a blanket by two sons. 

Adding to the colour of the hospital, there was the 
lower floor kept by the British. In it Captain Ainslee, 
the medical officer, had his wards of Hindoo and Sikh 
soldiers, the famous Hodson's Horse from India. Late 
at night when all the place was still, and only the 
night nurses were on duty in the darkened wards, 
the convalescents from this lower floor came out to 
bathe in the fountain, and their ghostly figures were 
seen in the moonlight, splashing with silent stealth in 
the round pool under the trees. 

But human beings are infinitely adaptable; long be 
fore the summer heat had reached its greatest these 
things were commonplaces, and living went om in 
Marash as everywhere, with little personal attachments 
and antagonisms, teatable gossip, horseback rides in 
the evenings. There was a constant sniping at the 
British soldiers and occasionally one was brought in 
wounded; now and then the marketplace was sur 
rounded and raided for Turkish arms, or in the night 


detachments went from house to house, searching for 
concealed weapons, "cleaning up the quarter." But 
these became commonplace, too. As the ricefields grew 
greener, blossoms gave way to fruit on the trees, and 
the sunlight burned more fiercely on flat roofs and 
scorching cobbles, the event of our days became after 
noon tea on our cool, upper porch. 

The British officers came, and the Americans of the 
Near East Relief and the Mission Board. There were 
the three nurses, Miss Shultz, Miss Morgan, Mrs. 
Power, Dr. and Mrs. Wilson, Miss Dougherty, Mr. 
Kerr and Mr. Snyder of the Near East Relief; Miss 
Blakely and Miss Leid of the Mission Board, which 
was maintaining in Marash an orphanage and a Rescue 
Home for Armenian girls. Sometime during the sum 
mer Dr. Crathern of the YJMC.A. arrived. So many 
of our own people, with the Armenians who soon be 
came our friends, made up a little group which, with 
the pouring of tea and exchange of news and mirth, 
gave almost an illusion of home* 

On days when we had no guests, there was always 
Dr. Artine, and many and animated were our discus 
sions across the teacups. Dr. Artine, the Armenian 
surgeon of our hospital, had quickly won our respect 
and friendship. Trained in the American medical 
school in Beirut, with post-graduate work in Ger 
many, he was a surgeon whose skill touched genius; he 
was also a cultured and gentle man, intelligent, widely 
read, humorous. His house in Marash, kept by his 
two sisters, was not only a beautiful home, but a 


veritable museum of rare and marvellous things ; for 
he was a connoisseur of rugs, Eastern paintings, and 

The one thing on which we could not agree at all 
was the Armenian question. 

"No. No, I cannot believe that this is the end," 
he would say. "The real things that are happening 
one can't see. There is something going on " I can 
see him yet, sitting there, thoughtfully stirring his tea. 
"We should be armed." 

That was absurd, I thought. I said gently, "But the 
British are disarming the Turks." 

"Yes. Yes. But " He would set down the cup 
and become passionate in his earnestness. "Remember 
our history. You aren't an Armenian, how can you 
understand? It has been the same thing for fifteen 
hundred years, the same thing, repeated again and 
again. We were caught between the Parthian Empire 
and the Roman. We were between them; we could 
not make an alliance with either without being attacked 
by the other. The Persians massacred us, trampling 
thousands to death with elephants. The Romans made 
us pay tribute, and when we defeated Herod, we had 
to make peace with a stronger Roman governor. The 
Armenian Empire was crushed and divided between 
Persia and Rome, and we have been a subject-people 
ever since. We would have vanished from the earth 
a thousand years ago, had it not been for our Church. 

"That is why I belong to our Gregorian Church. As 
an educated man, a modern man, of course, I know 
that our Church has its faults. But the Church is 


Armenia, Armenia is the Church. I have no sympathy 
with Armenians who leave it. As Armenians, it is out 
duty to stay in our Church, to give it ail we have^of 
modern knowledge, to keep it a living and growing 
thing, the heart of our nation. But this is a digres 

"What I am saying is, that the history of the 
Armenian people is a history of being caught between 
stronger nations and killed in their conflicts. That 
was what happened to Great Armenia, that was what 
destroyed the Little Armenian kingdom, here in these 
mountains. Even when we were no longer free, we 
were still used as weapons by foreign imperialists. For 
half a century we have been pretexts, used by the poli 
ticians of Europe and Russia as weapons against 

"Russia did not want to save the Christians in 
Turkey; she wanted Constantinople. That was the 
Tsar's reason for claiming the right to protect Tur 
key's Christian subjects. Austria, Germany, France, 
England do you think they freed the Balkan States, 
one by one, because they loved the Christian popula 
tions, or because they were fighting each other for the 
route to the East? Serbia was a Christian nation, and 
Serbia freed herself from the Turk. But what started 
the Great War? The struggle between Christian Aus 
tria and Christian Russia for possession of Christian 
Serbia; because Serbia was another step on that road 
toward the East that all Europe was contending for. 

"You keep asking me to rely on the promises of the 
Allies. But we Armenians all the Christian subjects 


of Turkey have relied on too many promises in the 
past. What happened to us a hundred years ago? 
When the Russian armies moved southward to Kars 
and Erzeroum, the Armenians welcomed them with 
tears of joy ; as brothers and deliverers. The Arme 
nians fought with the Russians against Turkey. Then 
Russia signed a treaty of peace with Turkey, the Peace 
of Adrianople; the Russian armies retreated to their 
new lines, and the Armenians of Van and Kars and 
Erzeroum who did not escape were massacred by the 

"You keep telling me that now we are safe, that 
now we are under the protection of the Christian 
Powers of Europe. But Russia was a Christian Power; 
Russia made the Sultans acknowledge her right to pro 
tect Armenians in Turkey. Still, she did not protect 
Armenians in Russia. She despoiled our Church, im 
poverished our people, denied them civil rights, re 
fused them education, and when they struggled for 
religious liberty it was Christian Russia that organized 
the Tartar massacres of Armenians in Russia. Russia 
used us as a tool, to help her penetrate further into 
Turkey, toward Constantinople. It was the only use 
she had for us. 

"Still, we do keep relying on the Christian Powers, 
we do continue to believe their promises. In 1914? 
when Russia moved southward again, all the northern 
Turkish provinces, full of Armenians, welcomed the 
Russian armies. AH over Turkey, wherever they could 
get arms, Cie Armenians rose to fight for the Allies 
as they did in Van as they did here in Zeitoun. Our 


payment for that was the deportations, and the mas 
sacresall that abominable and hideous suffering 

"The Turks are cruel, they are barbarians. They 
have always oppressed and robbed us. But they did 
not begin to massacre us until they were driven into 
a panic by fear of Europe. Europe encourages us, 
teaches us to hope for freedom, arms us to fight for it 
and for Europe and it is on us that the Turks take 
their revenge. And still we believe, we hope, we walk 
into the trap " 

I used to become impatient with him. All these 
things were in the past, I said. Why could he not 
forget the past, and look forward into the future? 
The war was won; the Allies were in Turkey. Ar 
menia had been promised freedom and a national home, 
and the Allies kept their promises. The time had come 
to forget old sufferings and to begin to build. 

"The Sultan has signed the treaty of Sfevres, but the 
Turks in Angora haven't/' he replied gently. 

There was an afternoon when I quite lost all pa 
tience, and said, "Nonsense 1 Can't you realize that 
the British Army is here? Look at it, look at the flags. 
Can't you understand that all you have been talking 
about is ended, finished, past? The Allies have won 
the war, Turkey is beaten. There are the British guns 
themselves, before your eyes. There are the British 
soldiers, riding in the streets. There is the machine- 
gun trained on the Vali's house. How can a Turk lift 
a finger? There is nothing to fear. All those old 
nightmares are ended. Do try to realize that it Is 
really true." 


It seemed to me that he had been so long accus 
tomed to bloodshed and terror among his people that 
he could not free his mind from their shadows he 
could not realize that they were no longer realities, I 
sincerely regretted this, for he was a man of excep 
tional character and ability, a leader among the Ar 
menian people, and my friend. When he could free 
himself from these forebodings and throw himself 
wholly into constructive work in the new Armenia, he 
would be a tremendous power. 

There were afternoons when we talked only of his 
hope that Cilicia would be decided upon as the national 
home of Armenia. There was, of course, no doubt in 
my mind that they would be given some territory of 
their own; it had been promised to them. Dr. Artine, 
himself a native of Cilicia, naturally hoped that Cilicia 
would be chosen, and when he gave his mind wholly 
to the dream of what could be made of these moun 
tains and fertile valleys as a home for free Armenia 
his dark eyes kindled, his short enthusiastic sentences 
showed his extraordinary grasp of commercial and in 
dustrial facts, and his whole being radiated energy and 

The whole Armenian populations of Marash, Har- 
poot, Aintab and their tributary villages had been 
driven away and scattered and killed, during the de 
portations. Those who lived had wandered through 
Mesopotamia, Arabia, Palestine, even into Egypt* 
Many thousands of them had lived in refugee camps 
on the banks of the Suez Canal. Only when the Brit- 


ish armies went into Turkey did they dare to return 
to their abandoned and wrecked homes. 

About twenty-five thousand of them had returned to 
Marash before the end of the summer. Americans 
were feeding them, clothing them, fighting the epi 
demics among them ; helping them to establish order 
again in their lives. They were a most thrifty, pa 
tient, industrious people; the rapidity with which they 
established themselves and became able to exist with 
out accepting charity was remarkable. As I grew to 
know them better, going into their homes and re 
ceiving them in mine, I found many friends among 

There was Mrs. Solakion, the wife of the Armenian 
Protestant pastor, a charming young woman who spoke 
English as well as we did. She and her husband were 
both graduates of American missionary schools. They 
were a happy young couple, devoted to each other, 
and their two little children, with pretty manners and 
sturdy young bodies dressed in the dainty clothes she 
made for them, reminded us of American youngsters 
at home. Mrs. Solakion was expecting the birth of a 
third child, and all summer long she was singing at her 
work of making over the older babies' clothes for the 
new one. Often in the evenings she and her husband 
went for a walk, and stopped for a moment to call on 
us. I can see them yet, coming across the compound 
under the trees, her dark hair combed back from her 
fine forehead and curling about her ears, and her young 
husband in his ministerial coat and collar, so proud of 
her and so careful of her. 


Then there was the family of Varton, our buyer. 
Varton was a serious, industrious man, tall and digni 
fied in middle age, a prudent business man, devoted to 
his family. The German hospital had saved them from 
the deportations; for twenty-five years he had been 
buyer of local supplies for the hospital, earning a 
modest salary. He lived in a comfortable house on 
our street, where his wife sewed and mended under 
the trees in the courtyard, and in the evenings he 
worked a bit in the garden. Thriftily they had saved, 
during these twenty-five years, enough capital to buy 
the house, and later a small amount toward the pur 
chase of a farm, to which they wished to retire for a 
peaceful, old age. Their children were grown, two 
daughters married, a son established in business, only 
one daughter left at home. Varton and his wife had 
decided that, by selling the house, they could buy the 
farm, and they used to drive out into the country to 
look at this piece or that, offered for sale, and to weigh 
carefully the various advantages of each. 

By spring, Varton told me, they would have de 
cided, and bought; we must look for another buyer. 
He would be sorry to leave the hospital, he said, look 
ing at it with the affection that comes from working 
so long in one place. "But a man earns his right to 
a comfortable old age, Dr. Elliott, and my wife and 
I, we're getting along in years now. If ever we are 
going to enjoy that farm, we had better begin soon. 
Twenty-six years we have thought about having the 
farm, now I think we are going to have it. I always 
liked a farm. So if you decide who will take my 


place here ; I can have Mm with me awhile, and show 
him the work, before I go." 

Within the walls of the hospital, too, we made many 
friends, none the less really friends because of the 
necessary formality between doctor and nurse, em 
ployer and employed. I became as fond of Aznive, 
my interpreter, as of a younger sister. She was a 
quaint, little person, not pretty, but charming, and de 
voted to us and to her work. Her brother, Luther, 
was our assistant pharmacist, and it was pretty to see 
her affection for him, "the man of the family," she 
said proudly, all her other brothers and their father 
having been killed in the deportations. Their mother, 
who lived in the town, used to come to see them, and 
then Aznive had little airs of modern efficiency, and 
became, for the admiring eyes of her mother, quite a 
different person from the timid little one who was 
always so eager to run errands and to anticipate 

A characteristic of the Armenians which to me was 
always beautiful, was their affection and reverence for 
their mothers. Often one of my girls, as clever and 
pretty and smartly dressed as any American girl, would 
ask me to visit her home. She would like me to meet 
her mother, she would say. With the tenderest of 
pride, she would take me into some primitive, 
Armenian house and present me to an old, toothless 
woman wearing Armenian veils and bracelets and a 
charm against the evil eye, and sitting on the floor 
by the ashes of a fire* The girl would say, "My 


mother/' as though she were a princess speaking of a 
queen. I often thought that, in similar positions, few 
American girls can be so unconsciously fine. 

Always in a hospital there are little human dramas 
of relationships between the nurses a My twelve Ar 
menian girls were as many strong characters, merry 
or morose, impulsive or reserved; they had but one 
common characteristic devotion to their work. They 
had been trained in American mission schools, and they 
were a group of nurses as conscientious as one could 
find in an American hospital. 

Between two of them there was a curious friendship. 
Both were named Mary, and to distinguish them they 
were called Big Mary and Little Mary. 

Big Mary was a hearty, energetic, outspoken girl, 
large-handed and heavy-footed, and stout in her uni 
form. Wherever she went good humour followed a 
trail of quick retorts and blunt jokes. Her face was 
lighted by a broad grin, and one came upon her un 
expectedly to find her cap over one ear and a practical 
joke on the point of exploding. She was like a sturdy 
advance guard, for a long time protecting Little Mary 
from our observation. 

There was something so fragile and elusive about 
Little Mary that one had the feeling of never quite 
grasping her. Slender, light-footed, silent, she went 
about the wards and slipped up and down the stairs 
without a sound; we would hardly have known of her 
being there had her work not been done swiftly and 
perfectly. Cornered, she looked out from a delicately 
pointed face through dark eyes so large that they were 


startling, and then dropped long-lashed white lids over 
them. She said, "Yes, Dr. Elliott/' "No, Dr. Elliott/' 
and her white apron stirred to rapid breathing. Re 
leased, she was gone instantly. 

But one saw her, when she thought herself unob 
served, talking to Big Mary. Then she was laughing, 
animated, with gestures of slender hands, flashing of 
eyes, a flush on the delicately modelled cheeks. Not 
another girl in the hospital could win from Little 
Mary any more response than we, but to Big Mary she 
was another person. For a long time we wondered 
at this strange attachment between the two girls, one 
so obviously from a much higher social station than the 

Then one day I stepped to my office door, and saw 
a tableau which vanished so quickly that I almost 
doubted my eyes. A Turk, the husband of a patient 
whose baby had been born that morning, was approach 
ing the office. Around the turn in the corridor, walking 
toward him, came Little Mary with a tray. His glance 
fell on her, and Big Mary stepped between them, catch 
ing the edge of the tray. My nerves had felt a dis 
tinct, unreasoning shock; but there before my eyes 
was the scene, entirely commonplace. I stepped back 
into the office, and noticed that the Turk glanced back 
over his shoulder as he came In. 

The incident might have meant nothing at all But 
at the next opportunity I asked Big Mary about it, 
and she poured out the story. At the time of the 
deportations, Little Mary had been living with her 
people in the city. This Turk had seen her, and had 


given orders that when the deportations started she 
was to be brought to his house. In some way that I 
forget, Big Mary heard of this, and sent a warning to 
the other girl. Not only a warning, for Big Mary 
had also sent word that if Little Mary could manage 
to escape and reach the hospital, she would take her 
in, and hide her under the protection of the German 

Little Mary had stained her face and hands, smeared 
her face with dirt, dressed herself in rags, and walk 
ing bent over a cane like an old woman, she had evaded 
the Turkish soldier set to watch the line of departing 
women and to bring her back. Big Mary had been 
watching for her all night, and just before morning 
Little Mary reached the hospital gates and Big Mary 
let her in. Ever since that time she had been living 
in the hospital, unknown to the Turks. 

"He asked me, after he left you," said Big Mary, 
"if that wasn't Little Mary he had seen in the cor 
ridor? I told him of course it wasn't; Little Mary 
had been deported. He said it was a mystery what 
had become of her; his man had followed the 
Armenians for miles and looked at every one, and 
swore that she was not among them after they left 
Marash. He said that even now he would pay a great 
deal to find her." 

Having told so much, Big Mary further confided that 
a certain young Armenian of good family was very 
much in love with the girl. He had seen her several 
times when he had called at the hospital to see Dr. 
Artine. He desired to marry her, but his parents would 


not allow Mm to take for a wife a dowerless girl who 
worked in a hospital. They had chosen another girl 
for him, but he refused to marry any one but Little 

I inquired as to what Little Mary thought of this. 
Big Mary replied that she did not say, though she 
had been seen looking at the young man in a way which 
could not be called discouraging. Still, no girl would 
be willing to marry into a family that did not want 
her. If the parents could be brought to ask for her, 
Big Mary thought that she would not refuse them. 
Perhaps they might, some day, send to ask me for her. 
Meantime, until the Turk's wife left the hospital, could 
Little Mary be assigned to duties that would prevent 
the danger of their meeting? 

In view of the girPs natural feeling, it was a reason 
able request, and the change was made. Furthering 
the romance did not seem part of our duties, however, 
and from occasional news of it volunteered by Big 
Mary, it appeared that it was not progressing. The 
young man's parents were obstinate, and marriage was, 
of course, impossible if they would not ask for her* 
Often, when I saw Little Mary flitting noiselessly down 
the stairs or through a ward, I wondered at the ad 
venture and romance concealed beneath her prim uni 
form. None of her family had ever come back from 
the deportations, she was quite alone save for Big 
Mary, and I would have liked to befriend her. But 
Big Mary was all sfie wanted. 

The summer went past It is not necessary to say 


that we all worked as hard as human beings can; the 
crowded daily clinics, the wards, the operating room, 
and all the details of their management, filled the days 
and interrupted the nights. The good executive, in 
medical work as in any other, should have little more 
to do than the engineer in an electric plant who merely 
sits listening to the humming of the smoothly running 
dynamos. Only emergencies should require that he 
work. But work in Marash was almost entirely emer 

There was, for instance, the constant problem of 
transportation. Our supplies were coming over one- 
hundred and fifty miles of mountain roads. For a 
time the British thought of opening the road to Islahai, 
the railroad station only seventy-five miles away, and 
prices in Marash dropped sixty-six per cent merely be 
cause of the rumour. But the road to Islahai was im 
possible. We must continue to haul from Aleppo, 
through Aintab. 

Half-way between Aintab and Marash a little, Brit 
ish military camp guarded the bridge over the Oxu 
River. This bridge was so light that a heavy truck 
was not allowed to go over it. Our goods came by 
truck from Aleppo to the British camp, where they 
were unloaded; then from Marash a little truck con 
stantly ran back and forth, bringing them across the 
bridge and on to us. Working as hard as it might and 
Mr. Snyder drove it sometimes night and day this 
little truck could do little more than keep the Ameri 
cans of the Near East Relief supplied with the goods 
used up in the work. Winter was coming, when we 


would be snowed in for months, unable to communi 
cate at all with the outside world, and we could not 
get into the warehouses the reserve stores we would 

This problem worried us for months. We tried 
every expedient to hasten the transport, and made 
many improvements, but that bridge remained an ap 
parently immovable obstacle until one night, lying 
awake, I thought of camels. A good transport camel 
can carry half a ton. The problem was solved save 
for the getting together of our caravan, bargaining with 
camel-drivers and guarding the packs while in transit 
and by the first of August the huge, vicious camels, 
bedizened with velvet and chenille and blue bead neck 
laces and chiming carefully tuned bells, were travelling 
to and fro under the American flag, and kneeling with 
grunts to be unloaded beside our warehouse doors. 
We would have our goods in before the passes were 
choked with snow. 

The days went by. Babies were born in the ma 
ternity ward. The sick recovered, were convalescent, 
were discharged, and their places filled by that constant 
river of misery which flows from the everyday world 
into a hospital. 

There was the shock and grief of terrible news one 
morning. Two Americans had been killed on the road 
from Aleppo. We had not known them; they were 
Mr. Perry and Mr. Johnson, young men from America 
coming to help Dr. Crathern start a Y.M.C.A, centre, 
We, in Marash, had been expecting them ? welcome 
newcomers just from home, and they were bringing 


By August the huge, vicious animals, bedizened with velvet and chiming carefully 
tuned bells, were travelling to and fro under the American flag. 


The medical wdrlc at first was such work as may be done on a battlefield, 
orphanage was a hospital, every child a patient. (See Page 177.) 



in a moving picture outfit. We felt about that expec 
tation of moving pictures as the adult feels about the 
toys he buys for the children at Christmas time. Of 
course the pictures were for the people of Marash, but 
it had been a year since we had been able to see a 
moving picture, and we would not pass the opportunity 
with the indifference we had once shown toward it. 
These two young men and the moving pictures were 
expected to arrive one evening; their rooms had been 
prepared for them and extra plates set on the dinner 
table. They would perhaps bring mail, too. At least, 
fresh news of America, which was so far away. 

Instead, word came that their bodies had been found 
riddled with bullets, in the wreck of their car with the 
dead chauffeur. The moving picture outfit had been 
torn to pieces and scattered for half a mile along the 
road. Their boxes had been broken open, their clothes 
taken. There was nothing else to tell the story of what 
had happened to them, as they came driving up the 
curving mountain road toward Marash. 

No one knew who had committed this murder. It 
may have been done by Turkish brigands, for the sake 
of the few garments that were stolen. It may have 
been done in a burst of hate against British officers, 
by Turks who saw no difference between the British 
flag and the American. We knew only the fact which 
struck cold on our hearts, that these two Americans 
had come to Marash in the spirit of Christ, to give 
what they had to the dark peoples, and that they had 
been killed by men who did not know who they were. 

The little light they brought had been extinguished 


by the darkness of Turkey. Somewhere in the moun 
tains their murderers were dividing their garments, 
and still asking each other, no doubt, what kind of 
weapon that moving picture machine could have been. 
They had killed two of us, as they had torn that ma 
chine to pieces, without understanding what they had 


THE days went by. Dr. Artine operated in the 
mornings, and in the afternoons still wavered 
between hope and doubt for the promised 
new Armenia. Aznive's charming gentle ways grew 
daily dearer to us. Little Mary went about with a 
demure air added to her shyness; it was noticeable 
that the young man of whom Big Mary had told us 
was calling more and more frequently at the hospital, 
under various pretexts. Mrs. Solakion was splendidly 
well, and showed us the layette, completed. Varton 
and his wife had chosen their farm, and were conclud 
ing the long bargaining of its purchase and the sale 
of their house. 

In September, Miss Morgan and I went on a two 
weeks' leave. Returning, we were met in Aleppo with 
news that the British were withdrawing from Cilicia. 
Captain Ainslee, also returning from leave, had re 
ceived a message to wait in Aleppo; his personal be 
longings were being brought out with the troops who 
would reach Aleppo next day. 

This was a thunderclap. Two weeks earlier the 
British in Marash had been building stables and pre 
paring quarters for the winter. The British occupa 
tion had seemed to every one to be as permanent as 



the mountains. Now, without notice, they were leav 
ing. Cilicia had been given to France by treaty with 
England, early in the Great War; now the French 
were to hold it. But how, in less than two weeks, 
could the transfer have safely been made? And why 
were the British withdrawing so suddenly, without 
notice, without time for the French to establish them 
selves and take command of the situation? 

Rumours flew in Aleppo as wildly as leaves before a 
storm. Charges and countercharges were made; it 
was said the French accused the British of attempting 
to hold Cilicia permanently, regardless of the treaty; 
it was said that the British, forced to relinquish it, 
were intentionally doing so in such a manner that the 
French could not hold it. It was said that the French 
had sold arms to Angora; it was said that the British 
were arming the Turks in Marash. Everything was 
said that could be said or imagined. Nobody, of 
course, knew the truth. Probably only a very few 
diplomats, safe in Paris and London, do know the 
truth. The one hard fact was that the British were 

The advice of both Americans and English in Aleppo 
was unanimous: "Don't go back to Marash, Don't 
leave the railroad." A British officer who was my 
friend went so far as to say that if I were his sister 
he would keep me out of Marash by force. He said 
this while the automobile waited, for naturally there 
could be no question of our abandoning the hospital, 

Once more Miss Morgan and I set out on the long 
road to Marash. It was autumn now; a hint of ap~ 


preaching winter in the air seemed to reflect the colour 
of our thoughts. At Aintab we met the British troops, 
coming out. The long line, smart in uniform and the 
gleam of groomed horses, came down the road. On 
a low hill Colonel Rowecroft was standing, reviewing 
his troops as they passed. He asked us to join him, 
and we stood watching our friends of that long sum 
mer leaving us, each erect in his saddle, eyes forward, 
hand stiff in salute as he passed his colonel. If there 
were no tears in our eyes, there were in our hearts, and 
Colonel Rowecroft, saying, "It's hard for them to leave 
this way," sent word down the column, "Kiss your 
hands to the ladies." 

So all the rest, as they came past, broke salute to 
wave their hands to us, and turned in their saddles to 
wave, and wave again. The last of them went down 
the road, followed by the long line of artillery and the 
pack trains of transport camels. We said "Good-bye" 
to Colonel Rowecroft, and went on toward whatever 
might be happening in the mountains. 

That night there was a spatter of rifle fire just out 
side the hospital gates, and two wounded Turks and 
two bodies were brought in to us. There had been 
an encounter between the Turks and the newly-arrived 
French. I think no French were wounded that night; 
later, when they were, they were always taken to the 
French hospital in barracks. After that time, no night 
passed without an outbreak of rifle fire in Marash. 

Week by week as these little encounters increased, 
it was apparent that the Turks were steadily growing 


bolder. Even in the streets their manner changed; 
they still stepped aside for the European uniform, but 
their manner of doing so had insolence in it. The same 
Turks who had meekly given up their arms in the 
marketplace and allowed the English to search their 
houses, now showed resistance and fired on French sol 
diers who were doing the same thing. The one ques 
tion of the teatables was, "Where do the Turks get 
their arms?" 

The French openly said that the English had armed 
the Turks before leaving Marash, or, at least, the 
English had either purposely refrained from thor 
oughly disarming the Turks, or that, after disarming 
them and receiving orders to leave, they had left the 
collected rifles and ammunition in places where the 
Turks could find them. To our indignant protests 
against such a charge, the French retorted, "Then 
where are the Turks getting their arms?" 

We were left to choose between two theories. Either 
this monstrous accusation was true, or the British, dur 
ing eight months of martial law in Marash, had been 
unable to disarm the Turks. For the Turks were 
certainly amply supplied with rifles and ammunition; 
fine German rifles, which must have been in the coun 
try since the war. 

I have only one thing to say about this question. 
The English officers in Marash were gentlemen, and 
our friends; the French officers were gentlemen, and 
our friends. I cannot believe anything unworthy or 
dishonourable about either of them. But this I do 
know; the responsibility for what has occurred in 


Turkey since that time rests on those men who were 
meeting in diplomatic conferences in Europe. The 
details do not matter. The fact remains that a united 
Christian Europe might have shown, in the muddle 
of old hatreds which is the Near East, a spirit of co 
operation and honesty before which any effort of the 
Turk would have fallen defeated. Instead, Europe 
brought nothing new to Turkey. The game played by 
the European Powers was the old game of hatreds and 
greeds with which the Near East has been familiar 
since Nineveh worshipped Baal. France, England, 
Italy and Greece behaved like thieves quarrelling over 
their spoils, and their quarrelling was the Turks' op 

Is this dishonourable greed inseparable from the for 
eign policies of Empires? Would America have shown 
it, too, if she had not withdrawn from the game and 
gone home? Would it have been possible for America 
to have taken an active part in this involved and des 
perate struggle of the Peace, without losing her ideals 
in the necessity for expediency? I do not know. In 
the temptations and passions of the situation, she, too, 
might have failed. Officially, America was in the Near 
East only as an onlooker. 

But the American people were there, working 
through organizations as powerful as those of many 
European states, and the American people were the 
one voice in the Near East that was speaking for 
Christianity. The American people were working, not 
for Mesopotamia's oil-fields, not for the Bagdad rail 
way and a trade-route to the East, not for Cilicia's 


mines and farms, not for Syria's cotton and dates, but 
for humanity. 

It Is nineteen hundred years since Christ said, "A 
new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one 
another. By this shall all men know that ye are my 
disciples, that ye have love one to another." And 
after nineteen hundred years, there comes out of the 
West from the youngest of the nations that have 
risen beyond the rim of the world since Christ spoke- 
one voice that echoes His words, one force that acts 
upon them. 

It came to this; that in Marash, in Adana, Aleppo, 
Konia, Beirut, in scores of cities dotting the map 
from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea and the 
Caspian, there were groups of Americans in hospitals, 
caring for the sick of all the peoples; groups of us 
in schools, teaching the children of all the races; 
groups of us feeding and clothing the hungry and the 
naked. This was America's part in the Near East; 
the people of one Christian nation following Christ's 

This is a beginning; this is a new thing on earth. 
Christ spoke to individuals, in an individualistic world. 
We have made the machine-age, the age of organiza 
tions. But we have not lost the spirit of Christ's 
words. To the land where the travelling Samaritan 
got down from his horse to bind up the wounds of 
one dying by the roadside, America sends fleets of 
freighters bringing thousands of tons of corn, thou 
sands of tons of clothing, hundreds of tons of medi 
cines and modern hospital equipment. The individual 


is lost in the organization; the spirit is unchanged, but 
its work is widened. Once steam lifted a kettle lid; 
now it turns the wheels of ten thousand cities. 

So I say that I am not discouraged, even by the 
great failure of the Christian Powers of Europe in 
the Peace, even by the sufferings and greeds and cruel 
ties that seem to be overwhelming the world. For 
this new thing, this spirit of Christ working in the 
modern world, will not be lost. Every bit of unselfish 
giving, every conquest of our own, small greeds and 
pettinesses, contributes to its growth. One day it will 
conquer the world. 

Americans at home will think it strange that in the 
midst of all these excitements in Marash, our lives 
went on quite as usual. A murder on your doorstep, 
a crackle of rifle fire at midnight in our peaceful sleep 
ing town, would leave nerves unstrung and minds fever 
ish for a long time. In the Near East these things 
quickly become commonplace, even to Americans. For 
a few nights you leap from your bed when the rifles 
speak; then you waken, listen, go to sleep again. A 
morning comes when some one says, "Did you hear the 
shooting last night?" and you reply, while pouring 
the coffee, "No, I must have been asleep. Why, was 
it serious?" 

Our clinic was crowded as always in the mornings; 
in the wards babies were born, fevers were bathed; 
Dr. Artine in sterilized surgeon's garb saved lives as 
usual in the operating room. The tea hour profited by 
the last cooling rays of the sun on our upper porch, 


and we were still trying to soothe Dr. Artine's appre 

He had become so outspoken that the French au 
thorities had sent for him and ordered him to keep his 
anxieties to himself. The Armenians of Marash were 
gathering around his leadership, a leadership undesired 
on his part, which had grown naturally from his ability 
and character. They were asking, begging, for arms. 

"But you, yourself, can see that it is impossible," I 
said, trying to soften the French refusal "The French 
cannot arm the Armenians; it would mean riots im 

"Yes perhaps a few small outbreaks, here and 
there " There were new lines in his face, in a few 
weeks he looked years older. "But a few sporadic 
riots would not be as bad as what is coming. Can't 
you realize can't you realize that we will be helpless, 
unable to protect our women and our children, when 
it comes? Helpless as we have always been. I tell 
you, we have walked into the same trap once more, 
and now we watch it closing on us." 

We thought him too pessimistic. The situation ap 
peared serious, but not desperate. The French troops 
were there; Turkey was, after all, a conquered country 
and a weak one, confronted by the whole armed power 
of Europe. French and English in their personal en 
counters might be temperamentally antagonistic; there 
might be quarrelling over shares of conquered territory. 
But it was incredible that France and England would 
not hold the united front of Christendom against Mos- 


lem Turks, Germany's defeated allies. Dr. Artine's 
forebodings were not so engrossing to us just then as 
the flowering of Little Mary's romance. 

One morning Mr. Solakion had called on me in my 
office. Mrs. Solakion was quite well, he said; we had 
long before made the arrangements for receiving her 
in the hospital. He had not come to see me about 
that, but to make an extraordinary request. It was 
one which, after long thought and prayer, he felt it 
proper to make. The young man who loved Mary had 
long ago asked him to help persuade his parents to 
permit the marriage. The young man was a sincere 
Christian, honourable and kind, and he deeply loved 
Little Mary. Mr. Solakion had done his best, for sev 
eral months, to persuade the parents. He had failed. 
Nothing would induce them to ask the hand of Little 
Mary for their son. On the other hand, the son had 
sworn, in the presence of his parents and Mr. Sola 
kion, never to marry any other woman. He had begged 
Mr. Solakion to ask me for her. 

Mr. Solakion said that, of course, only the most 
extraordinary circumstances would lead him to sug 
gest such a defiance of parental authority. But he 
believed that the marriage would have God's approval 
and blessing. (He was very much the radical in social 
and religious questions, was Mr. Solakion.) He as 
sured me that the young man would make a good hus 
band and father. Would I consent to give him Little 


I said that if he advised it, and Little Mary wished 
it, I could have no objection to the marriage. I would 
send for Little Mary and ask her. 

She came in, and stood before my desk in her uni 
form and cap, looking down at her clasped hands, while 
I explained to her Mr. Solakion's errand, and my atti 
tude. Then she looked at me with those startlingly 
large eyes, and said, "I do not want to marry him." 

I could not believe my ears. I asked her gently if 
she were quite sure? She replied steadily that she was 
sure, that she did not wish to marry any one, and least 
of all that young man. I heard her with amazement 
and incredulity. Could it be possible that Little Mary 
had been merely amusing herself at his expense? 

There was nothing to do but accept her refusal, and 
we did so. Mr. Solakion's astonishment equalled mine; 
he murmured that certainly he had been given to un 
derstand ... He interrupted himself to inquire, how 
could he break this news to the young man? He left, 
having received no answer to the question. 

Nothing more would have been heard of the matter, 
had not a distressing change come over Little Mary. 
Her face had always been delicately modelled, but in 
two days it became gaunt. Instead of flitting in and 
out, she was seen dragging herself piteously about, like 
some small, wounded animal. Her eyes became ab 
normally large, with a look of fever in them. She was 
obviously ill. I urged her with all the sympathy I felt 
to tell me what was making her so. She replied that 
she was quite happy, and quite well I could only let 
her go, and appeal to Big Mary. 


"She loves that young man/' Big Mary said 
promptly. "She cries all night and does not eat. She 
will die if she can't marry him." 

"But she can marry him! I told her myself that 
she need only say 'Yes.' " 

"She is a good girl/' said Big Mary. "How can she 
say that she is willing to marry a man whose parents 
don't want her?" 

The situation evidently called for decisive parental 
action from me. It had been an error to deal with an 
Armenian romance as with an American one. I called 
Little Mary into my office again, and firmly told her 
that I had decided she was to marry the young man; 
the engagement date was set. Little Mary flung her 
arms around me and soaked the front of my uniform 
with joyful tears. Between her sobs she said that she 
was the happiest girl on earth, and that she would love 
me all her life. 

She was radiant. She did not slip down the stairs 
any more, she seemed literally to fly down them. She 
was everywhere, like the fluttering of a bird, and now 
and then she was astonishingly heard singing as spon 
taneously as one. She openly hugged all the girls, 
she loved them every one, she loved the patients, she 
loved the whole world. Preparations for the wedding 
went on apace, bits of precious lawn came from our 
trunks, Armenian lace was contributed on every hand. 
The young man, of course, decorously stayed away 
from the hospital, Little Mary had not seen him again, 
but on Tuesday afternoon the betrothal was to be cele 
brated. Mary's dress was ready, spread on the bed in 


Mrs. Power's room, guests had been invited, an Ameri 
can cake had been made and splendidly set forth in 
our dining room, where the feast was to be held* 

At two o'clock, in Mrs. Power's room, we were dress 
ing Mary. I had slipped carefully over her head the 
white dress, and Mrs. Power was fastening it down the 
back, when a shot was fired outside our gate, and like 
an echo of it the whole of Marash answered with 
rifles. We had time only to look at each other's 
whitening faces, when machine-gun fire began to 
ripple through the crackling of the rifles. 

For a few minutes events came so fast that I have 
no consecutive memory of them. Against some pro 
test from us, the French had placed a machine gun on 
our upper floor soon after their arrival in Marash. 
The gunners were firing this gun. I reached that floor 
to find bullets whistling through it. Miss Salamund, 
an English missionary, seventy years old, in bed with 
a broken hip, was calling for me. Dr. Wilson was com 
ing up the stairs. I said, "We had better take Miss 
Salamund down." A bullet just missed me and went 
through her door, and I said, "We must take her 

We picked her up, on her mattress, and carried her 
into the hall. One of the machine gunners staggered 
out to us with a bullet through his lung. We took 
Miss Salamund down the stairs, and came back to 
look after him. One of our French sentinels was lying 
dead in our open gate. The man next door had stepped 


out into the street to bring in his cow, and he too was 
lying killed. 

I went out on our tea porch to speak to the other 
French sentinel, telling him to move the dead men and 
close our gates, and a storm of fire came at me. Ap 
parently the Turks had taken me for a soldier; I could 
not believe that they would have fired on me, knowing 
who I was. Too many sick Turkish women were even 
then in my care. 

All this time the firing roared and crackled; all 
Marash seemed to be exploding like an enormous mass 
of giant fire-crackers. We brought most of the pa 
tients into downstairs rooms where they would be pro 
tected by the compound walls; the others we laid on 
mattresses on the floor, where they would be out of 
range of the windows. Bullets were singing like mos 
quitoes around us; it seemed a miracle that none of 
us were wounded. 

Hours went on, and the steady continuance of the 
firing became incredible. It had begun so suddenly 
that every instant we expected it to cease with the 
same abruptness. We waited tensely for at least a 
lull in it, an opportunity to catch our breath and some 
how arrange to bear it. 

Dr. Artine was in the town, and had not come back. 
Indeed, it was impossible for any one to move in the 
streets; the whole population of Marash stayed where 
it had been caught by the abrupt storm of battle. 
When sunset and darkness brought no slackening of 
the firing, we brought our mattresses downstairs and 


spread them on the floor of the room in which we had 
given Miss Salamund the bed. The battle, we thought, 
might continue all night. 

About nine o'clock, a visitor came dropping over our 
rear compound wall Lieutenant Counarai, a young 
French officer. He brought very little news of what 
was occurring, except that trouble had begun the night 
before on the road to Aleppo. He had been riding out 
with Mr. Snyder, on the way to demobilization in 
France, when they were fired upon. A bullet had 
struck the steering wheel, and another had grazed Mr. 
Snyder's forehead. They had turned and come back 
at full speed around the curves of the mountain road/ 
and they had been fired upon for half a mile. This 
indicated that the outbreak was in the mountains as 
well as in Marash ; and that the French might have 
some hard fighting to put it down. But young Lieu 
tenant Counarai was delighted not to have missed the 
scrap, and one could see his delight in the adventure 
of it as he bade us "Good night" and scaled our back 
wall again, leaving us to what rest we could get on 
our mattresses. 

When I made the last rounds for the night, I passed 
Little Mary, again in her uniform. She was carrying 
a tray with bowls of water and sponges going to 
bathe a fever patient, she said. 

The second morning brought us realization of the 
situation. Until then, we had been much too busy and 
too excited to think of ourselves. But the steady sound 
of rifles and machine guns, still continuing after thirty- 


six hours, had settled Into a grimness more terrifying 
than its violent outbreak. When we sat up on our 
mattresses that morning Mrs. Power and I looked at 
each other, with the same unspoken thought. It was 
quite possible that we would not live to leave Marash. 
Death is one of the unimaginable things like in 
finity. No one ever believes that he will die, however 
well we all know we shalL I thought of my own people, 
in America, and was troubled about their worry and 
the impossibility of sending them a message. When I 
had made my rounds that morning I laid paper and 
pencil on my desk, determined to make a record of 
these events for them, and from time to time during 
the days that followed, whenever I had a spare mo 
ment, I wrote. The scribbled sheets give the picture, 
I think, more clearly than any remembered descrip 


JANUARY 22, 1920. This is Thursday, and the 
trouble began here Tuesday. Since then it has 
not been safe to leave the protection of our walls. 
Lieutenant Counarai was sent out from barracks last 
night to bring in wounded. He did not find any, but 
tried to return with eight marooned Algerians. When 
he reached the hospital with them only three were 
left; the other five had been killed. He says the 
streets are full of dead. Miss Blakely and Miss Leid 
were in town when the firing began; they have got 
back as far as the house across the street from us. 
They were seen at the window once, yesterday. There 
is a steady storm of bullets down the street between us. 

It was a mistake to put up the machine gun here, 
for naturally the Turks have the hospital covered. 
We asked to have it removed, and it was taken away 
over the back wall the first night, but the Turks do 
not know that. Last night French headquarters sent 
to us for dressings for their wounded. We had to go 
into the operating room with a light to get them, and 
there was a shower of bullets until we got out. I am 
sure the Turks thought we were the machine gunners. 

The French are using all their machine guns and 
cannon; a constant fusillade. Bullets never cease their 



whining, and the cannon shots rattle our windows. The 
Turks have two or three machine guns but no cannon, 
I understand. 

The Turks first tried to get over the mountains. We 
saw them through our glasses, soldiers advancing in 
regular formation. They were driven back by French 
shelling. Now it is the Turks already in Marash who 
are fighting. They are entrenched in houses all over 
the city, and it is very difficult for the French to dis 
lodge them. 

All day long the French have been shelling the hills. 
It is terrible and beautiful to see the flash of fire and 
roll of black smoke against the white mountains. The 
Turks cannot advance by daylight against such fire, 
and at night the French have patrols out. The diffi 
culty is in this fighting everywhere in a city of walled 

We have one hundred and seventy-five persons in 
our household; patients, employes and visitors who 
were here when the battle began, with stray ones who 
have managed to reach us since. The people in the 
next house made a hole in the compound wall and got 
through it to us. One poor Armenian came in last 
night. He and his wife and children lived in a little 
adobe hut beside the house from which the Turks are 
firing on us. The Turks broke down his door and shot 
him. They thought they had killed him and went 
away. He crawled out through the Turkish cemetery 
to us. 

All these people have some one they love, outside. 
My poor women patients, worrying about their families 


Aznive's mother and little sister are in the city, if 
they are still alive. Luther, her brother, is here. A boy 
of sixteen, who looks twenty-one now. He is in our 
pharmacy, and was here when the fighting began. 
Aznive is brave as can be, without a thought for her 
self, but Luther stays in the basement. 

Our telephone wires were cut at the beginning of 
the outbreak and the French have no wireless, so 
Marash is completely cut off from the rest of the 
world. Perhaps you have had no news of this, and 
are not worrying at all, but going about happily as 
usual; I hope so. America is such a happy place. 

January 24. Last night was incredible. This morn 
ing we looked out at the hills and mountains, amazed 
that they are still there, unchanged. Such a roaring 
and splintering all night through. The firing gets 
worse steadily. 

There are five big fires now homes of influential 
Turks. These fires must have their effect, for they are 
impressive to see. But one cannot account for the 
Turks. The second morning of this, two of them came 
to the French barracks under a white flag, and said 
the Turks wanted to stop fighting. The French heart 
ily agreed, and the bugles blew "Cease firing." Then 
the Turks didn't cease. 

The French could only begin firing again. I think 
there is no one in authority who can stop the Turks, 
now that they have begun to fight. The trouble began 
when the French arrested five leading Turks here* 
This morning two of them asked to be released, say 
ing that they could stop the battle. The French let 


them go, and they went out into the town. No word 
has come back from them.* 

Sunday morning, Jan. 25. The French torches have 
started many more fires in Turkish houses, and a bat 
tery shelled the house from which the Turks have been 
firing on us. Our front yard was so full of smoke 
that we could not see the compound gate. The shells 
passed directly over us with a terrific noise. Two shells 
went through the roof of the Turkish house and one 
through the wall. 

Just after supper last night, Mr. Kerr and Mr. 
Snyder got through to us, with an Algerian soldier. 
They had come to rescue Miss Blakely and Miss Leid 
from the house across the street, and to take back 
to Dr. Wilson supplies for the wounded. He is in the 
Children's Hospital and it is filled with wounded 
French. That hospital and French headquarters are 
in the same compound, and directly across the street 
is the college, all protected by high walls. So all those 
Americans can communicate with each other so nicely. 
Poor Miss Buckley is quite alone in Bethshallum or 
phanage, far away at the other end of the city. No 
news has got through from her. 

It seemed years before the two men got back with 
Miss Blakely and Miss Leid. They had to go a long 
way around, under cover as much as possible. We 
worked all the time, packing supplies for Dr. Wilson. 
When they got back Mr. Kerr was very discouraging, 
saying that a general massacre of Armenians is ex 
pected. Mrs. Power and I have talked it over, and 

* They were never heard of again. 


decided that those two men are mere infants, trying 
to make things seem as bad as possible. 

All night long the skies are red-lighted in every 
direction by the raging fires, and the cannons roar and 
the heavens shake. Around our hospital at the other 
end of Marash everything must be completely burned 
away. The whole city Is overhung with clouds of 


The French are hoping for reinforcements to-day, 
over the Islahai road. Yesterday they sent out two 
Armenians disguised as Turks to meet the troops and 
guide them in. 

Monday, January 26. Every hour produces a new 
big fire. One by one the French are picking out the 
Turkish houses and burning them. It fills us with 
amazement to see the precision with which the French 
place torch after torch all over the city. This morn 
ing we saw scores of Armenians loaded with bedding 
and household things, running through Turkish fire 
into one of our orphanages in a few minutes a large 
Turkish house was a mass of flames, right among the 
adobe houses the Armenians had left. 

A soldier has just come with a note from Varton, 
our buyer. He has a number of refugees and soldiers 
in his house. He sent word that all is well there, and 
that he is anxious about us; if we need anything we 
are to send to him. 

January 27. Who would have thought this could 
continue so long! Last evening we were quite cheered 
by a visit from Captain Arlabose, the French doctor. 
The French have cut through walls and made a pas- 


sage way to us. He came through that. After he had 
gone he sent back a present of two huge Senegalese 
guards and an orderly. 

We were just settled for the night when there was a 
knocking at our gate. I went out to order it opened, 
and found an Armenian, badly wounded. He reported 
massacres in his part of the city. While I was dress 
ing his wounds, Mr. Snyder came with a letter from 
Dr. Wilson; it confirmed the massacres, but tried to 
be encouraging. The French have sent our Armenians 
dressed as Turkish gendarmes to Islahai with telegrams 
to Adana for reinforcements and to Beirut for air 
planes. We pray God they may be successful in get 
ting them. 

All night, Armenians kept coming in with stories of 
massacre. To-day the guns are silent, except for scat 
tering shots, and I find myself longing for the sound 
of the artillery. It would keep the Turks from their 
devil's work. 

Mrs. Power is a trump, and my one comfort here. If 
she were the dependent kind I don't think I could 
stand it. I feel that when I get out of this, if I ever 
do, I shall never take responsibility again. 

I have ordered a tree cut down. We have hardly 
any wood left. Cooking only two meals a day, for 
patients and all. 

January 28. How our spirits go up and down! To 
day we are all so happy. News came from one of the 
big churches; there are nearly two thousand Armenians 
there, safe so far. And I feel they will be. Dr. Artine 
is with them. There are two big churches, and the 


Armenians have dug an underground passage between 
the two, and the French have given them arms, so they 
have been able to defend themselves. We are all so 
glad. Their houses have all been burned, but nobody 
cares about that, with this wonderful news that their 
dearest are alive. 

There is no news yet from Little Mary's fiance. 

Later; We are getting stragglers from the massacres. 
It is very terrible. There has been another big mas 
sacre at the other side of the city, and we can only 
pray that some of the men have been able to escape 
into Miss Buckley's orphanage. 

I wrote that, without thinking what I was saying. 
At home one thinks of women and children first. That 
is because we Americans are so blessedly safe all our 
lives. I did not understand until now the stories of 
Armenian men saving themselves in massacres and 
leaving their women behind. We used to think it 
cowardly. It isn't; it is an instinct of race-preserva 
tion. The Turks always try to kill the men and boys; 
the women have a chance of living then their chil 
dren will be Turks but the men have none at all 
The first thing Armenian women think of is to save the 
men and boys. 

I was wrong to blame Aznive's brother, to think that 
he was cowardly. He is not. Aznive told me to-day, 
"Every time I have a minute I run down to tell him, 
'Luther, remember your mother. Take care of your 
self. 3 " He is the only man left alive in their family, 
he is the family. He must not take any risks with his 
life. Aznive runs about everywhere, but she keeps 


telling him that he must stay in the basement where 
it is safe. 

We have news to-day of Mr. Solakion. He was just 
at our gate, coming to betroth Little Mary, when the 
shooting began. The guards tried to persuade him 
to come in, but he said he must get back to his family. 
I don't know details, but evidently he was caught in 
the thick of the fighting and had to take refuge in a 
near-by house. Night before last, Mrs. Solakion came 
crawling into the Children's hospital with five stab 
wounds and three bullet wounds; her two children were 
stabbed to death. She fell in a ditch and lay in the 
water for a long time. She was to have another child, 
and they operated and took the baby. She will prob 
ably die. Yesterday some one learned where Pastor 
Solakion was, and last night Mr. Kerr and Mr. Snyder 
went to get him. They say he will perhaps lose his 

Captain Arlabose came again yesterday morning, 
and also last night. He is a comfort. He sent more 
men last night to help guard the houses next us. They 
are full of refugees their basements, of course. No 
one dares go upstairs because of the bullets. These 
people are added to my family and come to me for 
everything. A soldier came just now to ask if he might 
fire on the Turkish house from which the Turks are 
firing on us. It is fortunate that I am a soldier's 

January 29. No change in the situation, and the 
massacres continue. But last night brought the happi 
ness of news that reinforcements are near; cannon at 


a distance have been heard by many different persons. 
The Turks are bolder all the time. Surely it is be 
cause they realize that this is the end for them, and 
are desperate 1 

We get horrible stories from Armenians who are 
escaping the massacres. I try to keep them from be 
ing repeated, but the basement and compound is full 
of people, and of course they will talk. 

The wife of the photographer who has done all my 
kodak printing since I have been here came in with 
one child, the oldest, a little girl about seven. She 
sits all day, staring. We have given her work to do, 
but she cannot do it. She had to leave all her other 
children, one a nursing baby ; and come with this one. 
The Turks had surrounded the quarter, and were to 
begin the massacre next morning. The Armenians had 
no weapons. They talked it over, and decided to try 
to escape. To do it, they had to crawl, one by one, 
between two Turkish guards, so close that the Turks 
could have touched them. One of the old Armenian 
men took control, and chose the ones to go. Only 
the men, and the women and children who could con 
trol themselves and keep quiet, were allowed to go. 
If one of them made the slightest noise, they would 
all be lost. So this woman had to choose between 
dying with her little children, or escaping with just 
this one and leaving the others. One might say she 
had better stay and die. But then she could not have 
saved this one. Her husband was not there, but she 
had word that he is safe in the church. She will have 
to face him and tell him what she did. 


Fifty-eight Armenians got out; they were crawling 
out all night, creeping without a sound past the Turkish 
guards in the dark. 

January 30. We have no further news of anything. 
The French are only trying to hold out until reinforce 
ments come. They know that they can never subdue 
the Turks here without help. In the meantime they 
are burning the city bit by bit A thousand Armenians 
are in the American college compound now. They are 
being fed one meal a day from our supplies. A mes 
sage has just come asking if I can furnish salt? For 
a thousand? No. 

A poor old woman came in this morning, crawled to 
our gate. She had two bullet wounds, and every bit of 
skin was worn from her knees, where she had crawled 
on them to get to us. 

We are straining our ears for the sound of an air 
plane or big guns on the plain. Will they come? Have 
the telegrams got through? What does the outside 
world know about us? Oh ? one can't stop and think. 

January 31. And things much the same. We are 
a little more crowded by the Turks. I had a distressed 
note from Varton; they are hard-pressed. 

Mrs. Solakion has died. My photographer has been 

Last night was the coldest we have had this winter 
a biting wind, and everything frozen. To-day is a 
little warmer and I do hope it will stay so, for the 
suffering is tenfold in the bitter weather. From now 
on, there will be many dying of starvation, for this is 
the tenth day. 


Last night our squadron of nine men was keyed up 
almost to breaking point. Our back door neighbours 
were doing something, we did not know what. One of 
our men was killed, a black. To think that he was 
born in Africa, to die here in a French uniform, pro 
tecting us! To-day, we learn that many more Turks 
got into the clump of houses behind us. 

February i. Just as day was breaking, one of the 
night nurses came to say that Varton's house was on 
fire. The next thing was that Varton was wounded. 
We took in more than a hundred refugees from Var- 
ton's house. His wound is not dangerous, a shot in the 
thigh. We operated; had to lay the flesh open from 
hip to knee, but he will be all right after a few weeks 
in bed. 

Yesterday two Zeitoun men came through the trench 
from the French barracks, both with flesh wounds. 
They are magnificent men, mountaineers, tall, strong 
and very proud. They told me, while I dressed their 
wounds, that the men of Zeitoun are fighting again, 
have been fighting since the Turks attacked the French 
here. They had no more ammunition, and these two 
men have come in to get some from the French. They 
came through the Turkish lines in the night, and were 
wounded, but got away. They want to go back to 
night. Zeitoun can hold out for ever, they say, if only 
they can have ammunition. 

An Armenian woman just came to me, so Indignant 
because she knows some one in the neighbourhood who 
has a large stock of food and is keeping it. I said, 
"Do they want us to buy it? 5> 


"Buy it! "she said. "Why should you buy it? Take 
it by force. Is this a time to buy and sell?" She is 
feeding fifty people in her house next door. 

A time like this brings out characteristics that are 
usually hidden selfishness, nobleness, greed ; self-re 
straint, courage. Sometimes, I hate the whole world 
when I see some one, in all this strain and danger, 
doing a mean, petty thing; but always, a little later, 
some one does something so big and fine that I feel 
it is worth while to be here. If it is the finish, it is the 
finish, that's all. One of the girls said something 
big last night. Something made her think that Mrs. 
Power and I were leaving, abandoning them all. Mrs. 
Power said, "We wouldn't do that, Margaret," and 
she answered so sweetly, "Even a mother leaves her 
children at a time like this." 

A note just came from Dr. Wilson asking if we have 
a man on the place whom we could send out to Aintab 
as a messenger with an appeal to Admiral Bristol? 

February 2. Yesterday Dr. Wilson sent his message 
out by the Zeitoun men who came in day before yes 
terday. The French sent out another call for help by 
them, too. We are not told whether they will get 'the 
ammunition they came to get for Zeitoun. 

The woman who had to abandon her children heard 
to-day that her husband is dead, killed in fighting. She 
is alone now, with the one child, but he never knew 
what she had done. 

February 4. An unusually quiet night. The church 
Is still safe, and the twenty-five hundred Armenians 
there have food. A messenger got through from them 


again to-day. We have been unable to get any com 
munication with Miss Buckley in Bethshallum orphan 

Two weeks this afternoon since this started. The 
French are gradually gaining ground again, even with 
out reinforcements. If they are able to win before 
help comes, it will have a more crushing effect on the 
Turks all over Turkey. 

We have a French boy here, very ill with pneumonia, 
and we feel that we cannot bear it if he dies. He 
looked at me so pathetically the first night and said, 
"Me, I have been counting the days until I could get 
back to beautiful France, and now I will die here." 
He will go back to France if care and will power can 
save him. 

February 5. Very good news yesterday. Captain 
Fontaine is in the lower part of the city, back from 
Islahai, and Captain Hervier is back with his airmen 
from Aintab, Both have wounded men, but none lost. 

February 6. An airplane has appeared overhead. 

It flew around and dropped messages. We don't 
know whether the French found them or not. There 
is nothing so wonderful as an airplane, The Turks 
fired on it. We thank God that they have no aircraft 
guns. It went away, and then a second one came, 
and the French fired two rockets to indicate their 

February 7. More good news. Aznive heard from 
her mother. A man from the Latin Church (Lieu 
tenant Van Coppanole's fort) got through with a mes 
sage from her. The Latin Church is not five minutes' 


walk from here, but this is the first word they have 
been able to get to us, in three weeks. 

My poor pneumonia French boy died yesterday 
afternoon. How hard we fought to save him. In the 
morning, he took out some postcards from France 
and was crying over them. Oh, it is terrible, terrible, 
to send these poor boys over here. 

I did want the United States to take the mandate 
for Armenia, but I am glad, glad! now that we did 
not do it. I could not endure being safe at home and 
knowing that our American boys were over here in 
this earthly hell, dying as this poor boy died, crying 
for home. 

After the airplanes yesterday, two letters came from 
the Turks, one addressed to the French and one to the 
Americans. We do not know what the French one 
contained, but the one to us said that this is not a 
local movement, but a national one, and that the Turks 
of Marash could not stop it if they would. In other 
words, it is Mustapha KemaFs movement. 

February 8. Mrs. Power and I had a laugh over 
Luther yesterday. He has really proved himself a 
splendid fellow; I do not know what we should have 
done without him. He was a pharmacist in the Turk 
ish army, and they kept him in the front lines much 
of the time, so he thoroughly knows the Turks and 
their manner of fighting. Yesterday he went out in the 
compound and called to the house from which the 
Turks were firing on us called until the owner came 
out, mind you, and then said to him, "You are not to 
fire on the hospital. You know it is not permitted to 


fire on a hospital The Director Doctor Madame is 
very angry about it, and will hold you responsible. 
The Director says you are to stop firing at once." 

Would you believe that the Turk stood there and 
swore up and down by all the prophets that they never 
had fired on the hospital and never would fire on it 
and the hospital there before his eyes, looking like a 
colander from their shots! 

We were busy until four o'clock this morning; the 
First Protestant Church was burning. We thought 
there were hundreds of Armenians in it. We heard 
later, however, that they had all got over to another 
safe church. 

Then came the great news that reinforcements have 
reached us at last. Soon we began to hear them. All 
night the shelling was heavier than ever before. Then 
there were two more enormous fires, which burned a 
whole quarter of the city. We doubled our guards 
around the compound walls and had everything filled 
with water. 

We must be doubly vigilant from now on, for it 
appears that the Turks will not surrender, but will 
keep on fighting and doing whatever damage they can. 

The reinforcements seem to be working their way 
up through the city, contrary to the expectations of 
Captain Arlabose, who thought they would come 
around the barracks. 

He amused us very much last night. He went to 
French headquarters and was in bad humour when he 
came back. He said anybody would be a neurasthenic 
who stayed there long there were too many officers 


and no two of them could agree. It was too depressing, 
he could not stay there. So I said, "You must come 
here, where we are all so calm and happy." 

"Bien sur, ici c'est beaucoup plus heureuse/' he an 
swered seriously. 

We have taken in fifteen men with frozen feet to 
night, and more are coming. The weather is bad. 

Our precious airplane has just come and gone again. 
If only we could reach it with a message. But any 
way, it seems a connecting link with the outside world. 

February 9. French reinforcements consist of three 
battalions, nearly three thousand men, and eight can 
non. There is fierce fighting on all sides of us this 
morning, and we are having the worst snowstorm of 
the winter. Snow lies thick on everything and fills the 
air so that nothing can be seen. 

News came to me yesterday that Miss Buckley was 
killed on the first day. We knew that all the Armenian 
girls in the Rescue Home were killed as soon as the 
fighting began, but we had not heard this before. I 
do not believe it; I could not bear to believe it. I 
have said nothing to Mrs. Power about it. 

One of our nurses learned last night that her two 
little children are killed, and another nurse's mother 
was killed with them. The commandant of the ma 
chine-gun company has been killed, the only French 
officer lost so far. 

Little Mary's fiance has been killed. 

Beyond the second house from us is a narrow alley, 
and the next house is all stone and Turkish. The 
people in it, however, have been quiet and peaceful. 


Last night they threw a paper over the wall and it fell 
in the alleyway. Of course, no one dared go out to 
pick it up. They came to ask me what to do about it. 
I told them to call over the wall and tell the person 
from whom the letter came to write another one. So 
later two new letters came. One was from a Turk who, 
we hoped, had protected some Christians. It said that 
he had had thirty-five women and five men in his house, 
but that the other Turks had forced him to give them 
up and had killed them all in the street outside his 
house. Little Mary's fiance was among them. We 
think he had been trying to get to her here. 

The other letter was addressed to Mr. Lyman, a 
missionary, and asked the Americans to plead with the 
French for the lives of Turkish women and children. 

February 10. To-day started as usual until Captain 
Arlabose came. We both saw that he was much dis 
tressed. Nothing we could do would cheer him. He 
went to headquarters and came back looking more 
miserable than before. He has been trying to eat 
luncheon with us. He has just told us that the French 
are going to retreat. 


IT was many minutes before we could believe that 
this was true. But Captain Arlabose's face con 
vinced us more than his words. 

In the hospital no one but ourselves knew the news, 
and the French were insistent that no one else should 
know. Mrs. Power and I went immediately to see 
what the other Americans were going to do. Our heads 
were swimming. Of course so far as going or staying 
was concerned, each must decide for himself. Some 
must stay, and some must go, so that none of the 
Armenians would be left without the little help we 
could give them. 

The way was more difficult and dangerous if we left, 
but more horrible, we thought, if we stayed. 

The Armenians at headquarters had heard the news 
before we had, and they were sobbing and screaming. 
Thousands of them, screaming! They had relied on 
us, on the promises of the great, powerful Allies. They 
had come back to Marash, to their wrecked homes 
and lives, under our protection. Now they were being 
left to the Turks. 

How many times I had said, "Don't be silly! Can't 
you realize that the Allies are here, the Allies have 
won the war? Haven't you been told, and told, and 


told again, that you are safe now? Why do you 
foolishly imagine things to frighten yourselves? The 
Allies are here." It was so hard to think. 

Captain Arlabose looked actually happy when I told 
him that Mrs. Power and I were going with the 
refugees, and Miss Shultz had decided, too. The rest 
had not decided. Miss Buckley, if she were still alive, 
was in Bethshallum and could not be reached. Dr. 
Artine, with the twenty-five hundred Armenians, was 
still in the churches. I prayed that the news might 
reach them, so that they could fight their way out be 
fore it was too late. A note came to me from the 
hospital. They had heard the news; what should they 

I think that all the rest of my days I shall suddenly 
hear from time to time that sentence quietly said, some 
times almost in a whisper, "What shall we do now, 
doctor?" I have stood and stared dumbly for minutes 
at a time, in absolute despair as to what to say. 

When they saw us preparing to leave, the question 
of many was settled, for they simply picked up their 
packs and left. In the meantime, hundreds of people 
were piling inr The compound was a mass of frantic 
Armenians. Parents came into the wards, picked up 
their almost dying children, and carried them away. 
In the midst of this Captain Arlabose was getting all 
the wounded soldiers out of the place. 

He said he would stay with us all night. Mr. Kerr 
came down, thinking that we were leaving that night 
and ready to guard the hospital. He brought word 
that all the Armenians who were leaving should go that 


night, as the French thought of issuing an order for 
bidding any one to go with them. So I bundled up 
our poor nurses, giving them everything nice and 
warm, and with many assurances and promises that 
we would overtake them on the road, we started them 
out into the night. Little Mary was like a sleep 
walker; I do not think she saw or heard anything. 
Big Mary helped her away with an arm around her. 
Poor little Aznive cried so quietly, and said, "Oh, 
doctor, I thought I would not mind dying so much, if 
I could only have died near you." 

We had no sleep that night. Dawn came on an 
almost empty hospital. Varton was one of the last to 
go. I had got a donkey for him, had blankets and 
food packed on it, and sent him off riding, accompanied 
by all his family; it was impossible for him to walk, 
with the wound in his thigh. Then we fixed our 

A woman who could not have lived long, a tubercular 
case, had got up out of bed in the night, taken off her 
clothing, and sat by the open window. We found her 
sitting stark upright, frozen stiff. The ground was 
too solidly frozen; we could not dig a hole in which to 
bury her. 

Captain Arlabose had given us instructions to come 
to the caserne at six. Miss Dougherty and Dr. Crath- 
ern in the meantime had decided to come with us. As 
soon as it was dark, we four women went creeping 
through the trenches from the college to the caserne, 
and were welcomed into a warm, filthy room, the walls 
of which shut out some of the screams of the Ar- 


menians. No one had any news of Miss Buckley, and 
there was still doubt as to whether messengers would 
be able to reach her or Dr. Artine. 

We sat waiting for Lieutenant Van Coppanolle to 
come; we waited for hours, and he had not yet got 
through when the order came to start. Captain Arla- 
bose would stay to remove the guards from the empty 
hospitals after Lieutenant Van Coppanolle got back 
from the Latin Church. With trembling hearts we 
stumbled out into the darkness. This was at 10.30 
P.M., February 10. 

It was difficult going as soon as we left the buildings 
behind us, for the darkness blinded us and we did not 
follow the road, but went across rough fields, guided 
by hundreds of other marchers as lost as we were. We 
were not taking the long road to Aleppo*,, but were to 
strike out over the mountains in an attempt to reach 

We had stumbled along silently up hills and down 
into valleys for perhaps two hours, when we ran into 
Lieutenant Van Coppanolle, gay as ever. He had 
taken a shorter way and his company was ahead. A 
young Armenian girl was with him, from the Latin 
Church, and he immediately put her under my wing 
and took charge of us both. The moon was rising, 
and by its light we struck straight for the big camp, 
reaching it in a few minutes. 

Such a night! A turquoise sky flooded with moon 
light over a white world, and across the snow, stretch 
ing as far as the eye could see, a line of camp fires, 
horses, wagons, camp fires, soldiers, refugees, camp 


fires, camels, donkeys, carts, all a mixture and con 
fusion of sound and sight. We sat down to rest by a 
fire of straw, and got colder and colder. The poor sol 
diers kept coming with their frozen, wet feet to get a 
taste of the fire, which was hardly warmer than candle 
light. One brought the great relief of news that Miss 
Buckley was alive, and staying in Marash. We had 
rested less than three-quarters of an hour when the 
order came to march. We did not stop again until late 
the next morning, and by that time we had begun to 
pass children and some women, dropping in the snow, 
unable to go on. 

It is indescribable, the memory of such things. We 
stopped, of course, when we came to the fallen, and if 
there were any hope La Petite (the young Armenian 
girl) and I worked over them and tried to save them. 
One little girl I especially remember, one of the most 
sweetly pretty little girls I have ever seen. She was 
about four years old. We picked her up and got her 
on a horse. But I have no hope that any of those who 
had fallen so soon ever got through. 

Just at dawn, who should I recognize but Varton, 
walking! In the confusion of the night, he said, the 
donkey had got away from them, carrying all their 
food and bedding. He insisted that he was all right, 
but his wife and children were hungry. And there in 
that desolation of grey dawn on bleak mountains, as 
he dragged the wounded leg through the snow, he 
looked at me and said, "The Turks burned my house. 
If we had got the farm, they could not have burned 
that, could they? I always wanted a farm." 


A few hours later we sat down in a place somewhat 
sheltered from the wind. It was very cold. Lieu 
tenant Van Coppanolle gave us food, and I could have 
eaten with relish, though the chicken and bread were 
so frozen that bits of ice crackled between our teeth 
when we bit them. But there were three people dying 
within a few feet of us, and one was a mother with 
a little boy not more than seven years old, who kept 
trying to arouse her. He was so weak himself that 
he could not make much of a sound, but he whispered, 
"Mamma! Mamma!" tearing her dress open and beat 
ing at her breast with his hands. She kept making an 
effort, half rising and trying to smile at him, and then 
falling back, while he whispered, "Mamma! Mamma!" 
frantically. The Lieutenant insisted that I eat, but I 
could not swallow, and when he was not looking I 
gave some of the food away and put the rest in my 
pocket for Varton's family. Two pieces of chicken 
and a little bread and hundreds all about us with 

Our line was wholly demoralized; some stopping to 
rest, others trudging on. As they passed, I kept ask 
ing for Dr. Artine. No one had heard of him. This, 
I thought, is the way Armenian families are broken up. 
This is the way they tramp the roads of Turkey, ask 
ing for news of each other. I am a refugee. This is 
what it means. If I had been born in Marash instead 
of in America, all that I know, all that I am, would 
not keep me now from this; hunger and cold and 
heartache, refugee camps and lines of refugees, bread 
lines, dirt, disease. Why should I wish and pray that 


Dr. Artine escape alive? It would be easier for him 
to be killed by the Turks. 

We rested for half an hour, then on again ; with no 
pause and no more food until we reached El Oghly at 
three o'clock that afternoon. All the way Lieutenant 
Van Coppanolle urged me to ride; I could have had a 
horse or a place in a wagon. But I was not so tired 
as the soldiers, and very much more fit than any of 
the thousands of Armenian women and children. 

We slept in a mud house that night, after eating a 
good meal of beef from a cow that the soldiers had 
picked up on the way. At five in the morning we 
were on the march again. The weather was warmer, 
and our spirits lighter. If the weather would be kind 
for only two days more, we could all reach Islahai 

All that day we went forward, in good spirits. From 
the top of a mountain the sight of that column was 
one never to be forgotten. Four battalions with their 
guns, provisions, pack-mules and a train of three hun 
dred camels, and behind that, a stream of refugees 
going up and down the hills into the far, blue dis 
tance. All seemed to be moving in good order; no 
more were falling by the road. The dear sky was like 
God's visible blessing. 

That night we camped at Bel Puvar. There was a 
good supper, a roasting fire, and we dropped to sleep 
with the comforting thought, "Only one more day to 
Islahai." At five o'clock, in the darkness, Lieutenant 
Van Coppanolle waked me and said we must start at 
once; there was a blizzard. 


The swirling snow was so thick that we could see 
only a few feet, and that with difficulty. Four thou 
sand men were trying to get into line, more than five 
thousand refugees were struggling in the confusion and 
terror. Screams of horses, shrieks of women who could 
not find their children, wails of children wallowing in 
the snow alone, creaking of gun-carriages, shouts of 
officers and, men, sudden looming up of camels that 
grunted and bit, all coming out of a swirling whiteness. 
I thought of my nurses, of Varton and his family, of 
my patients from the hospital, women with new-born 
babies, struggling in that madness. Impossible to find 
any one, to do anything. We got somehow into the 
frantic line and started on the long tramp. It lasted 
fourteen hours. 

We had been obliged to start without even a cup 
of coffee, but both La Petite and I were well wrapped 
up, and our good comrade was always beside us, caring 
for us with such tenderness. I knew what heroism is, 
seeing Lieutenant Van Coppanolle and La Petite trudg 
ing bravely, without complaint. In a very few hours, 
we were passing the dying all along the way. 

The column was quite quiet. There was hardly a 
sound for hours, except the scream of some one fall 
ing. Always, just when endurance broke, they 
screamed once as they fell. The column went on 
silently, leaving them there. 

Armenian women have a way of carrying their chil 
dren on their backs, holding the two hands clutched 
against the mother's breast and the child's weight on 
the bent back. When children are carried in this way, 


almost always one sees their little bare feet, side by 
side. Working with refugees, I see this perhaps a 
hundred times a day, and never without remembering 
the road to Islahai. Even now I cannot bear to see 
children's feet; I cover them up whenever I have time 
and can reach them. 

That morning we passed hundreds of mothers, carry 
ing their children in this way. First a vague darkness 
in the swirling snow, then the mother's bent body, and 
the child's little bare feet. I would reach out and tuck 
them up in a corner of shawl or blanket as I went by. 
I do not know how many hours we had been walking, 
when I found the first dead child on its mother's back. 
I walked beside her, examining it; she trudged on, bent 
under the weight, doggedly lifting one foot and then 
the other through the snow, blind and deaf to every 
thing. The child was certainly dead, and she did not 
know it. I spoke to her, touched her, finally shook 
her arm violently to arouse her. When she looked up 
I pointed to the child and said, "Finish." The mother 
seemed not to understand at first, trudged onward for 
a few steps, and then let go the child's hands. The 
body fell, and the mother went on, blind and deaf as 
before, all her life in that lifting of one foot after the 
other through the snow. 

This was the first one. There were perhaps fifty 
more after that, always the same. No complaint, no 
protest, a little time to understand what had happened, 
and then a dumb letting go of the hands and the 
weight. Strength was so exhausted in these women 
who had carried their children so far, that there was 


no emotion left, simply the last shreds of animal en 
durance. If I had not spoken to them, they would 
have carried the dead until they dropped and died in 
the snow. 

In time I, too, was a blind machine moving forward, 
tucking in no more feet, examining no more children. 
We had been walking ten hours, and I was probably 
one of the most fortunate of the thousands of women 
who followed the French out of Marash. I had more 
reserve strength on which to draw. Still, there was 
little of it left in the end. I thought of nothing, cared 
for nothing, simply struggled onward and tried to keep 
my balance. It seemed to me that we three were walk 
ing on a very narrow ledge between two precipices, 
and that if I lost my balance and fell we would all go 
down thousands of feet. 

Just in front of us was a cart; one of the women 
in it had died and the body, caught by the feet, 
dragged in the snow. I saw it dragging in front of us, 
for miles; I looked at it dully, and avoided stepping 
on it. No one thought any more about it than that. 
If it had been taken out of the cart, there would have 
been room for some living person, but no one thought 
of that. Then the cart was not there. I do not know 
what became of it. We may have gone around it. 
Nothing existed but that narrow bit of solidity in the 
white whirl, the solidity on which we tried to keep 
our balance. Often and often it turned to broken ice 
and water; we had come to a river, and I was picked 
up and carried across. 

I had felt hands plucking at my shoulder, stiffly 


fumbling at me and sliding and fumbling; it seemed to 
me that I had felt them for a long time, when I heard 
a voice saying, "Doctor! Doctor, what shall I do?" 
I turned then, and there was Margaret, one of our 
nurses, just behind me. She stood there holding out 
her hands, stiff like dead claws with the cold, and 
looked at me with wild eyes. Her clothes, wet in the 
rivers, had frozen, the shawl on her head had blown 
back and stood out in stiff icy folds. "Doctor, what 
shall I do? I'm dying. I can't go on." 

"Nonsense!" I said. "Of course you can go on. 
Come now, I won't hear another word! March!" 

We went on, repeating this, I walking carefully on 
the narrow ledge and she fumbling, trying to get hold 
of my shoulder. "No, doctor, I can't. Oh, doctor, 
I'm dying. Oh, doctor, what shall I do?" 

"March. You can. You must." 

"Oh, doctor ..." 

After a long time her hands slid down my arm and 
I stopped to try to pick her up. Lieutenant Van 
Coppanolle said, "Who is she?" 

"One of our nurses." 

"Here, get that girl on her feet and bring her 
through," he said to his orderly. "Give her this to 
eat." He gave the orderly a piece of chocolate. Then 
we went on, hearing little querulous complaining be 
hind us. The orderly had got her on her feet, but 
they could not walk. He had not the strength to hold 
her tip. He could not break the chocolate, and she 
could not bite it. "I have a piece in her mouth, my 
lieutenant," he said, "but she can't swallow," 


"Get her through, get her through. She's one of 
the doctor's nurses." 

Perhaps I dwell too long upon these personal ex 
periences. Personal experience is the only window 
through which we see the world, and if I share the 
window with others, it is to show the same view be 
yond. The things I felt and saw, multiplied by thou 
sands, made up the experiences of the column that 
crawled from Bel Puvar toward Islahai when the 
French evacuated Marash. This was something, a 
very tiny fractional part, of the price the Armenians 
of Turkey paid, and are still paying, for the mistakes 
and quarrels of the Allies since 1918. Statistics are 
mathematics, and political discussion is an academic 
thing. But the men and women and children who lived 
through the massacres at Marash and walked to 
Islahai are flesh and blood. And what they saw and 
suffered then they are still seeing and suffering, in 
other forms, in other places. 

It was late in the afternoon of February 13, 1920, 
that the men and women in this column, silently using 
their last strength to fight through the blizzard over 
the mountains, found that they were lost, that they 
were not on the road to Islahai and did not know 
where it was. 

What were the statesmen of England and France 
doing at that hour? Comfortable men, men who had 
eaten, men who had roofs under which to sleep, men 
whose wives and children were safe and warm they 
sat playing the great game of international politics on 


the chessboard of the world, while the world bled lives 
and sweated anguish at every move. 

It Is simple enough to blame the Turk for the suf 
ferings of Armenians. Seeing what the Turk does, 
one hates him. But what is the Turk? A man who 
thinks first of his own profit, a nation that fights for 
its own interests as it sees them. Yes; the Turk is a 
barbarian; he still does crudely with bayonets and 
massacres what the civilized nations have learned to 
do with secret agreements and treaties signed at council 
tables. The Turk is a barbarian; in seven hundred 
years he has learned nothing from the civilization of 
Christian Europe. But what are the lessons that Chris 
tian Europe has set him to learn? 

Seven hundred years ago the Crusaders took Jeru 
salem in the name of Christ, and looted it of gold and 
silver and rugs and women, while their horses' legs 
were drenched to the knees in blood. After seven cen 
turies, General Allenby re-takes Jerusalem. All that 
the Allies do it to cut up living Turkey on a map, 
and then to quarrel over loot of oil-wells, and railway 
routes, and new territory until the Turk rises and 
drenches Asia Minor with the blood of their soldiers 
and their helpless tools and dupes, the Armenians. 
There may have been blood-stains on the rugs the 
Christian knights carried home to France and Eng 
land. To-day, the blood is on the Turks' bayonet; 
blood-stains are invisible on the signed pieces of paper, 
safe and clean in Downing Street or on the Quai 


We were lost, and now the silence began to be broken 
by low murmurs of talk the French officers consult 
ing as to what we should do. The column still stag 
gered on, blindly. After thirteen hours of marching 
without food or rest, eyes baffled by the whirling snow, 
feet weighted with the fallen snow, there was nothing 
left in us but mechanical endurance. We continued to 
move, as a dead snake moves, because there was still 
a little life in our muscles that would not let go. The 
cries of the falling were weaker now, and more huddled 
bodies lay in the snow to be stumbled over. The of 
ficers were talking, in a group beside the column. 
Lieutenant Van Coppanolle stopped; all our little 
group stopped. I could still stand alone, La Petite 
holding to my arm but trying not to lean her weight 
on it. My nurse went down, and the orderly reeled, 
leaning over, slapping her, shaking her, helping her in 
her struggles to get up. 

Then Lieutenant Van Coppanolle laughed. The 
other officers had said there was nothing to do but camp 
for the night; we were lost, and in the darkness it was 
impossible to find the road. It was then that the Lieu 
tenant laughed, gaily, as at a delightful joke. We were 
all right, he said; we might be a little way off the road, 
but we'd find it again. Allons! 

There is no miracle like a brave man's laughter in 
the midst of death. Our hearts had stopped at that 
suggestion of camping in the snow. It meant, of 
course, that thousands of us would lie down and never 
get up again. But the temptation of it! Just to lie 
down, and let the snow cover us 7 and give up all effort 


for ever. Then Lieutenant Van Coppanolle laughed, 
not defiantly, not even encouragingly, but with the 
simple mirth of a gay and serene spirit laughing away 
an amusing suggestion. Aflonsl 

It was the one thing that could have kept us going. 
We went on. It was quite dark now, so dark that we 
could no longer see the snow, could only feel it brush 
ing our faces and weighting our feet. It was so dark 
that we stepped on the dying, unable to see them. 

We had been going on thus blindly in the darkness 
for perhaps an hour longer ; when the Lieutenant him 
self suggested that we stop. He spoke of it not too 
seriously, not as though it meant what we all knew it 
did mean. But he was speaking of it, when we heard 
a high, long whistle. The whole column thousands of 
throats answered it with a terrible sob. A train 
whistle! Islahai! 

There were some who began trying to run toward 
it. In the darkness there were screams, groans, calls 
of those suddenly separated in the mob. The last 
half-mile was nightmare confusion added to nightmare 
exhaustion, and in that last half-mile, I think, more 
people dropped and died than in any of the miles we 
had toiled over. We came to buildings and lights, a 
sobbing frantic crowd. Some one found us in it, and 
said that our company was to go to the barracks on 
the hill. We came upon a kitchen wagon and greedily 
drank cups of cold, icy coffee. No warmth yet, but 
how grateful we were for water and the stimulant of 

Hundreds of the refugees died in Islaiai. What it 


must have been to them, the thousands who poured 
down on the little station to find no shelter and to be 
helped by no last heroic efforts of exhausted men, I 
do not want to try to imagine. We, with the barracks 
waiting for us, would have died on the hill that led 
to them, if Lieutenant Van Coppanolle had not been 
unconquerable. La Petite and I could go no farther. 
It was a hill to climb, in waist-deep snow. 

A riderless, lost horse came out of the darkness, and 
the Lieutenant and his orderly got us on it. The or 
derly kept falling, and the Lieutenant could get him up 
again only with kicks and curses. La Petite and I 
swayed on the horse's back; all my last strength went 
in holding on and in encouraging her to do so. 
Finally she could keep her balance no longer, and in 
that last extremity the poor, brave, little thing let go, 
rather than drag me off with her. These are things 
you do not forget, when people speak scornfully of 
the Armenians. 

A second later, the orderly, the horse and I went 
down, rolling in the snow. Lieutenant Van Coppanolle 
got us the rest of the way by himself, dragging us 
through the snow, beating the orderly with his fists, 
falling himself and struggling onward on his knees. 
So we got to the barracks at last. 

I lay on a bunk in the officer's mess, soldiers rubbing 
my feet and hands, an officer feeding me hot toddy 
with a spoon, and saw the French officers coming in. 
One had gone mad and was raving fighting, when 
they carried him away. One fell on his face and lay 
there until he was picked up. All of them were crip- 


pled, with frozen and frost-bitten feet, and in the last 
stages of exhaustion. 

Five thousand Armenians had left Marash, and per 
haps a third of them lived to reach IslahaL That was 
in February, 1920. To understand the lives of these 
Armenians, remember that the evacuation of Mar ash 
was not an isolated calamity interrupting comfort and 
peace, like the San Francisco fire or the Galveston 
flood. These people had lived through the massacres 
and deportations in Turkey during the war; for six 
years they had been suffering and dying as they suf 
fered and died on the road to Islahai. It was those 
few months of anxious peace in Marash that was the 
novelty to them; those few months of patiently be 
ginning again to rebuild ruined houses and broken 
lives. And the evacuation of Marash was the begin 
ning of the old story again the beginning of the 
wanderings and sufferings which are not ended yet. 
For those who lived to reach Islahai went on to 
Smyrna, and Ismid, and the villages of Anatolia that 
were held by the Greeks, and the power of new Turkey 
was rising behind them like a hurricane. 



MUSTAPHA KEMAL held Marash. It was the 
first battle in the new war between Turkish 
nationalism and European imperialism, and 
the Turks had won it. 

It was also a temporary defeat on another battle- 
line the invisible and wavering line where good meets 
evil, in the eternal warfare which to some of us seems 
more important than the rising and falling of empires. 
For a time, the work that Americans were doing in 
Marash was ended. 

We who represent the spirit of Christian America in 
the Near East often fail to represent it perfectly. We 
are only human beings, with our own spiritual battles 
to fight; life often confuses and perplexes us, and 
always we fail to reach the ideal of living and working 
which we try to attain. For ourselves, it can only be 
said that we do the best we can, and that the odds 
against us are very great. But the spirit that sent 
us here, the unselfishness of millions of Americans, the 
miracle of their caring for the sick and miserable of 
the whole world, is a pure and beautiful and strong 
thing. In the confusions and perplexities of their own 
lives, they, too, are only struggling human beings. But 
their giving, their caring to give, their wanting to share 



their riches and their goodness with the multitudes of 
the world ? is a bit of Christ in their lives. Twenty 
millions of Americans^ for a moment rising above 
boundaries of races, of nations, even of creeds, to reach 
the ideal of unselfish love for all the world, have 
created the great organization that is fighting in the 
Near East for these oppressed and miserable peoples. 

That organization had now to retreat, re-form its 
line, make a new stand. The work in Marash was 
ended, for a time. But there was this in our defeat 
which is not in the defeat of empires; it was a tem 
porary and negligible thing. Hatred and greed and 
all the passions of men may seem for a time to be 
gaining, but they will never conquer that spirit in the 
world which, because we have no finer word for it, 
we call love. This is a warfare of the ages, in which 
the work of a lifetime is only one gesture among mul 
titudes, and the history of an empire is no more than 
a day. We who do the best we can, living only a 
little while and being soon forgotten, are fighting on 
the winning side. 

I was only four days in Islahai. Being able to walk 
the second day, I found all our nurses from Marash, 
and got them off on the train to Adana, where they 
went to work in the Near East Relief there. I had 
put them on the train and was leaving the little station 
when I met Dr. Artine. 

The change in him, even after the experiences he had 
undergone since I last saw him, was so appalling that 
my relief in finding him alive was still-born. We shook 
hands almost silently, and he walked beside me through 


the snow toward the refugee camp. I hesitated to ask 
Mm questions, and he had no wish to talk. The little 
he told me was in explanation of his situation. 

The twenty-five hundred Armenians who had been 
with him in the two churches had received no warning 
of the French evacuation. They had been fighting 
valiantly, and thought that the Turks were being de 
feated. They had accomplished terrific feats, organiz 
ing, getting the tunnels through f roni church to church, 
digging trenches, rationing their food, and fighting with 
the skill of military experts. On the night before the 
evacuation, while the French were deciding to retreat, 
these Armenians had defeated the Turks in a hard 
fight and had got through to Bethshallum, the Ameri 
can orphanage. Their careful plan of strategy was to 
fight through, from these two points, to a connection 
with the French forces. Their ammunition was run 
ning low, but they reckoned that, by making every 
shot count, they had enough to drive the Turks back 
and reach the French supplies. They planned to do 
this in twenty-four hours, and believed that when their 
lines touched the French, they could together defeat 
the Turks of Marash. 

Marash was the crucial point. It was Mustapha 
KemaPs first defiance of the Allies. The Turkish 
troops had been unable to reach the city, against the 
French artillery. The two thousand fighting Arme 
nians in the churches believed that if the Turkish citi 
zens in Marash were thoroughly defeated, the city 
could be held until the arrival of French reinforce- 


ments able to defeat the Turkish army outside it. 
Victory seemed to them only a question of holding out 
and fighting, and they were doing both with success. 

It was a happy night. After their battle, the 
Armenians were more encouraged, more hopeful than 
they had been since the fighting began. They put 
out guards and held a short service of thanks to God, 
after which the men went to sleep on their rifles, and 
Dr. Artine performed an operation. 

He said that he had not been so happy for months. 
The danger he had so long feared was actually upon 
them, and they were confronting it and defeating it. 
BethshaJlum had medical supplies; he would now be 
able to take care of the wounded. The operation was 
a leg amputation. Two days earlier the man's leg 
bone had been splintered by bullets, and he had been 
helplessly suffering all that time. The operation was 
successful, and at five o'clock in the morning Dr. Artine 
lay down to sleep. 

The sentries woke him at dawn. The Turkish flag 
was flying over French headquarters. The French had 
left Marash at ten o'clock the night before. 

The twenty-five hundred Armenians in the church 
held a meeting to consider how they should die. They 
could fight one day more, or they could try to make a 
dash for escape. If they fought, not one would live; 
if they made a quick dash some of them might get 
through. It was the desperate pleas of their women 
that decided them. They broke their guns, threw their 
ammunition into the well. There was a little while in 


which they all said "Good-bye" to each other. Then 
they massed behind the gates, and at a signal threw 
them open, and ran. 

Their only way out of Marash led past trenches now 
filled with Turkish troops. The Turks began firing as 
soon as the Armenians appeared, and poured a steady 
stream of bullets upon them. Two hundred of the 
twenty-five hundred that started from the churches got 
past the trenches alive. One hundred and fifty reached 

Dr. Artine's two sisters had been with him in the 
church. Before they left, he had divided all the money 
he had with him, and given them each half of it. They 
both fell in front of the Turkish trenches. Dr. Artine 
was in Islahai, the only one of his family left. Every 
thing he had had in the world was gone, his family, 
his friends, his beautiful house, his surgical equipment, 
his practise, the place he had made for himself in the 
world. He was living on charity. He asked me if I 
could help him to get work. "Any kind of work, of 
course; anything that will earn food and shelter. I 
don't ask to keep on in my profession; I don't expect 
to be able to do that, now. There is no work except 
with the Americans, and you have your own doctors. 
But I would be most grateful if you could perhaps get 
me a job as a porter, or cleaning the offices." 

We were able to give him work as an interpreter, in 
the Near East Relief hospital in Adana. Within a few 
months he had shown such ability that he was given 
the management of the hospital. Wherever he is, he 
will always be a gallant, gentle, intelligent man. But 


his personal life, Ms career, and his hopes were killed 
in Marash. 

Little Mary was for a long time a weight on my 
mind and my heart. She was so frail and so exhausted 
that she could not work in Adana; there were few 
jobs for all the thousands that clamoured for them, 
and the places in the hospital must be filled by those 
most able to do the work. I left her in the refugee 
camp in Adana; there was nothing else I could do. 

Thousands of Armenians were pouring down from 
the mountains, in front of the Turkish advance. They 
were gathered at Adana in the fields, an enormous 
camp of homeless families, some living in tents, others 
in shelters they contrived of scraps of wood and flat 
tened Standard Oil cans. With one of these families 
I left Little Mary, and for a long time I remembered 
her, standing in the flap of the tent and looking 
after me. 

She had given me a letter to her brother, who lived 
in Boston. I mailed it, registered, from Beirut, and set 
in motion the Near East Relief machinery for trans 
mission of money and handling of passports. The end 
less complications of such work, and the waiting for 
an opening in the over-crowded immigration quotas, 
take a long time. It was six months before I heard of 
Little Mary again; a cable from her brother said that 
she had safely reached Boston. 

Big Mary is in Constantinople, taking a special 
course in nursing. I see her now and then, when my 
work takes me to that sprawling, swarming Oriental 


village on the shores of the Bosphorus. Her fate Is 
still dependent, as so many millions of obscure lives 
are dependent, on the quarrelling imperialisms that 
meet In Lausanne or Geneva. If there are no mas 
sacres in Constantinople, and she can finish her course, 
there will be work for her among her own people, 
under the wing of America. 

My dear Aznive travelled with me all the way to 
Beirut. For Luther we found work in Aleppo, with 
the Americans. Aznive, I was sending to a friend of 
my own in Detroit. She had never been out of 
Marash; she had never seen a railroad, or the sea; 
she had never worn a hat. In Beirut she saw the sea, 
and we bought her a hat; I do not know which ex 
perience most deeply shook her. 

Beirut was a whirlpool of excitement; Feisal was 
crowned king of the Arabs, and all the multi-coloured 
peoples of the East jostled each other in the narrow 
streets, and all their hopes and fears and intrigues 
simmered underneath. Freedom and a new kingdom 
of their own had been promised to the Arabs, as they 
were promised to the Armenians; the Arabian peoples 
were still believing that their services in fighting 
Turkey during the war were to be rewarded with pos 
session of Arabian Syria. But Syria had also been 
promised to the French by one of those secret treaties 
among the Great Allied Powers which were so numer 
ous in the early days of the war that I forget which 
one it was. King FeisaFs reign in Syria was short; 
the French dethroned him, and the English took him 


to Mesopotamia and set up his puppet kingdom there 
where the oil-fields are. 

I left Aznive on the wharf in Beirut. She was to 
take a later steamer that went straight to New York. 
Her ticket was bought and in her pocket; her passport 
visas were obtained; friends would put her on the 
boat, friends would meet her in New York, and she 
was going to my friends in Detroit. But every few 
minutes a terror shook her, and everything but terror 
ebbed from her face. 

She went with me to my boat, clinging to me dumbly. 
At the gangplank I was obliged to unclasp her strain 
ing fingers from my arm, laughing at her a little, coax 
ing her to be happy. "See, you have the ticket, you 
have the passport, it is all arranged. You are going 
to America. Come now, aren't you glad? Laugh, 
then; it isn't the time to cry, my dear/ 7 

"But nothing good has ever really happened," she 
said. "Nothing ever really happens but How can 
I believe that I am going to America ?" She began to 
sob. "I can't even believe that America is really 

I stood on deck, looking down at her on the dock, 
and she tried to smile up at me. But when the boat 
cast off its mooring and began to move away, sud 
denly she stretched her arms after it and screamed, 
terrible, hysterical screams. All that she had lived 
through must have come rising from the depths of her 
when she found herself abandoned on that wharf, and 
her self-control had gone to rags and tatters. My 
gentle, quiet, patient little Aznive fought the friendly 


hands that tried to quiet her, and raised her hands to 
the sky and shrieked till passengers on the deck cov 
ered their ears. So I sailed away and left her there, 
screaming like a lost thing caught by the unendurable 
pain of the world. 

And I heard of her next in Detroit. She had arrived 
safely, my friends loved her as I had known they 
would; she was so happy that tears splashed the letter 
she wrote me. "I did not know there could be on 
earth a place like America," she wrote. "Often I think 
that I have died and gone to heaven. Nobody is afraid 
of anything here. Quite grown-up people smile like 
children, and even strangers are kind to each other, 
and tell each other where to find places on the streets. 
It does not matter what your religion is, they do not 
even ask you, but are kind to you without knowing." 

From my friends I heard that she was studying 
hard, taking a nurse's training course. She was popu 
lar everywhere, and young Armenians clustered around 
her. More than one had asked her to marry him, but 
she said that she did not want to marry; she wanted 
to work, like American women. 

Then I had a shy little letter from her, saying that 
she was engaged. "Many men have asked me to marry 
them, and I did not wish to marry, but when I saw 
Paul I changed my mind." 

He was a young Armenian, a machinist; a fine 
young man, my friends wrote. They were married, 
and are now living in a modern apartment in Detroit; 
three of them now, for there is a baby. Paul works 


in the Ford shops, and has had a raise in salary, Aznive 
writes; the baby has three teeth, and is more intelli 
gent than any baby ever was before. She does not say 
this because the baby is her own; every one says so. 
I should see them going walking on Sunday, the baby 
is so cute in its carriage, and Aznive has a new hat, 
and they go to the moving pictures. Every week they 
put money in the bank for the baby's education. "My 
own country is so far away, it is like a bad dream after 
you wake up and know it was only a dream. We are 
Americans now." 

But the Near East is not a bad dream. From the 
safety of America it must seem so. But it is real; it 
is the cancer that threatens the life of the whole of 
the Western world. 

The attempt to bring cleanliness and peace into 
Cilicia had failed. From the victory of Marash the 
Turks swept forward, driving before them the French 
and the last of the Armenians. Eight hundred years 
ago the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia had welcomed the 
French Crusaders, fought beside them, fed them, saved 
their lives and helped to make them powerful. The 
Mongolians had overpowered Armenia, while the Egyp 
tians drove the French back to Europe, but the 
Armenian people had continued to live in Cilicia, under 
the Mongolian conquerors. Now once more the French 
had landed on Cilicia's shores, once more the Arme 
nians had welcomed them, trusted them, exerted their 
puny strength to fight beside them. The conquering 


Turk of to-day was not so merciful as his cousins the 
Tartars of eight centuries ago; this time the defeat of 
Europe was the death of the Armenians. 

How shall one disentangle the snarl, how divide 
praise and blame? None of our standards apply here, 
in this world unchanged since the tribes of Israel came 
into it from Egypt. We, who were born in America, 
are the children of another age ; living in another world. 
Here in the Near East greed for possessions and power 
is the only motive; getting possessions and power is 
the only glory. Europe encouraged the Armenians to 
dream of regaining the old freedom, never forgotten 
through eight hundred years; thus Europe could use 
the Armenians as a weapon against the Turks. Turkey 
was fighting for her life against the greed of Europe, 
and when Europe failed to protect her little allies, the 
Armenians, the Turks called them traitors and killed 

This was the end of that group of the Armenian 
people who made the Kingdom of Little Armenia. In 
all Cilicia to-day there is hardly a living Armenian. 
Marash is a desolate city, burned and depopulated. 
The Armenian villages are deserted ruins. 

The Turks had Cilicia, but Europe continued the 
fight in Syria and in Anatolia. Italy had been check 
mated in her attempt to get Smyrna; the Greeks were 
sent there. The Greeks, too, dreamed of regaining an 
ancient power. Theirs had been the Byzantine Em 
pire, the Rome of the East. The Greek peoples, too, 
had been living here in Asia Minor centuries before 
the Mongolians came, and still were living here. 


Greece, given Smyrna to keep the Italians out, felt her 
hopes rekindling as the hopes of the Armenians had 
done. The Greek lines pushed farther into Turkey, ran 
from Smyrna to Eski Cherher, to Brussa, to Ismid. 

Behind these lines accumulated the mass of disease 
and misery which is refugees. Those Armenians who 
had lived to escape from Cilicia, those Armenians 
who had been peacefully living in the interior villages 
of Anatolia, poured down to the sea-coast cities. On 
one side of them was the sea; on the other, the Greek 
lines that pushed further and still further into Turkey. 

Into this mass of misery and disease went the Ameri 
cans. In the winter after the ruin of Mar ash I was 
opening a hospital in Ismid. 


WE were in Ismid in December, 1920. This 
very old city (known in ancient times as 
Nicomedia) on the coast of Anatolia was 
then like all the other western coast cities of Turkey 
a grey-white fringe of the sea spread around the 
harbour. Its history began when men first lived on 
this coast, and ventured out on the waters in ships to 
find peoples living on the islands of the ^Egean and 
old civilizations flourishing in Egypt. The Greeks 
came to it when first they began to be a maritime 
people, and doubtless they knew this harbour when 
they were fighting the war with Troy. Ismid was a 
city coloured by all the races of the Near East, but the 
core of its life was Greek; the shop-owners, the work 
men, the merchants who handled the trade of the port, 
were Greek in blood, though they had lived here a 
thousand years, and often did not speak the Greek 

British warships lay in the harbour, slim islands of 
grey steel as steady as rock, seeming to protect by 
their presence, not only the grey-white curve of houses 
and shops, but also the Greek cruisers that lay beside 
them, and the trading ships that came and went. 
Italian and French destroyers came, dropped anchor, 



Doctor Elliott's Ford is compelled to halt in a too-narrow street in the Armenian 
quarter of the old city. 


The author frequently used the native araba or yali, a picturesque and 
comfortable vehicle employed throughout the interior of Anatolia. 


lay for a week or two, and went again. American de 
stroyers, those peaceful, watchful ships that are gath 
ered in these waters to be a refuge for American lives 
when refuge is necessary, were always in the offing, 
ready. Beyond the city the low, bare hills curved 
round like the palm of a sheltering hand, keeping the 
life of Ismid from the rising winds that were blowing in 

The life of the city went on, under the protection of 
the guns, under the shelter of the hills, held firm by 
martial law. The Eleventh Greek division, commanded 
by General Gagaledes of Macedonian fame, was in the 
city, waiting. The battleships were in the harbour, 
waiting. Beyond the hills were the troops of the Turk 
ish Nationalist army, waiting. They were all waiting 
for the decision of the London Conference. Mean 
time, the little -shopkeepers of the bazaars displayed 
their goods, drank their Turkish coffee, bargained; 
bare-footed women-servants, veiled, going to and fro 
on errands, stopped to gossip on the corners; in the 
walled courtyards the women embroidered and talked 
the endless, monotonous talk of sheltered women inter 
ested only in the minute events of their days. And 
disease came invisibly into the city from its breeding 
places on battlefields and refugee camps, and reaped 
its silent harvest. 

Refugees were pouring into Ismid from the interior 
of Turkey, scurrying before the rumour of Turkish ad 
vance like leaves blown by a rising storm. There were 
six thousand Armenians and nearly as many Greeks 
overflowing refugee camps and spreading through the 


crowded bazaars; almost naked children with thieving 
fingers clutching at crusts or bones or anything left 
unguarded, haggard women begging on doorsteps, and 
men who could do nothing but sit on curbs, since there 
was nothing else to do. 

The Near East Relief orphanage was crowded; the 
refugee-relief workers toiled at an ever-increasing 
task. There were bread-lines, soup-kitchens, delous- 
ing plants, temporary hospitals unable to cope with 
the multiplying disease. And every day the question: 
What will be done with us, at the conference in 

General Gagaledes received me cordially, sitting be 
hind a table in his bare, soldierly office. Certainly he 
would give me a building for a hospital; had I chosen 
the one I wanted? From the window I showed it to 
him, a large empty building on the hill. He smiled. 
Nothing would be easier than to give me that; it was 
within a few yards of the front-line trenches. But did 
I think it healthy for patients to be under fire? 

We laughed. The building I really wanted, I said, 
was on this side of the city, but it was occupied by 
Greek troops and I thought it useless to ask for it. 
General Gagaledes touched a bell, and told the aide 
who answered it to go with me and order that I should 
immediately be given possession of any building in 
Ismid that I chose. 

So the hospital was started. The building had been 
a Turkish hospital; Greek troops had been living in it 
and destroying it as soldiers always do. Within 
twenty-four hours they had moved out, and on their 


heels came an army of refugee-workers with scrubbing 
brushes, whitewash pails, panes of glass, papers of 
putty, cans of paint. 

The ingenuity of these Armenian and Greek refu 
gees, their skill in contrivance, was remarkable. It 
encouraged me to the enterprise of installing hot and 
cold water. Lead pipe was found, copper coils were 
made. I knew nothing of plumbing; neither did these 
workers. But by sheer intelligence the pipes were 
connected, the heater was made, the joints were 
soldered and left uncovered, anxiously to be observed 
lest they leak; the plumbing system became reality, 
and worked. We dreamed then of a bathroom. Tiles 
were found, abandoned in an old German factory 
wrecked during the war. We confiscated these, made 
the bathroom and tiled the floors. 

In five weeks there was the hospital, a beautiful 
place, as sanitary, as modern in every way, as one 
could wish. A hundred beds were in the wards, filled 
with patients. A clinic was opened. Across the gulf, 
in Badizag, we opened headquarters for the war against 

Three months had gone by, and we had built from 
the bottom upward the completed machinery of an 
organization. From the first it had been running; now 
it was ready to slip into low gear and really pull the 
whole load. Then the London conference ended. 

The British had declared that they would give East 
ern Thrace to Turkey. The Greeks, first sent into 
Asia Minor to keep the Italians out, then encouraged 


and cheered on aaid supported by the British in further 
invasions, and now abandoned, cried out in fury that 
they would not again open the doors of Europe to the 
Turk. They would fight, before they would yield 

The British warships steamed out of the gulf of 
Ismid, leaving the Greeks to hold it; in June the 
Greeks decided that they could not hold it. It was a 
question of re-forming the battle-front which ran all 
the way to Smyrna. The line was too long to hold; 
military necessity dictated that Ismid be evacuated, 
and the Eleventh Division withdrawn to make the left 
wing, resting on Brussa. This explanation was quite 
true and reasonable, but there was another reason for 
the weakening of the Greek army. King Constantine 
had come back to Athens; the seasoned revolutionary 
fighters who had commanded the army were withdrawn 
and their places filled by royalist officers. General 
Gagaledes was gone; General Kladis commanded the 
Eleventh Division. He had been in exile with the king 
throughout the war, seeing none of the fighting. He 
was not a popular hero, like General Gagaledes. All 
through the Greek army one saw enthusiasm waning, 
morale weakening, dissatisfaction growing. 

The news of the evacuation was to Ismid what a 
stick is to an ant-hill. All normal activities were lost 
in feverish excitement. Refugees came piling into the 
heart of the city and swarming down to the water-front, 
where across the stretch of blue water the Greek 
cruisers stUl lay. They were to remain in the gulf, 


and two thousand Greek soldiers were to be left in 
the city; this garrison, under the guns of the boats, was 
thought sufficient to protect the refugees. 

The Eleventh Division marched down to the 
wharves, through a silent city. Company by com 
pany, it was swallowed by the ships that took it across 
the gulf. It was to march to Brussa by land. All 
one day the soldiers were embarking; by night the 
last of them was landed on the opposite shore. At 
sunset a rippling crackle of rifle-fire ran around the 
edge of the city. The Turks had come. 

Once more bullets were zipping across our compound 
and striking into the plaster of the walls. Again we 
put patients on the floor, out of range of the windows. 
There was fighting in our cherry orchard. In half an 
hour the first wounded Greek soldier was brought in 
through our front door; ten minutes later the first 
wounded Turk crawled to our back door and hearing 
him beating on it, we opened it and took him in. After 
that they came continuously, both Greeks and Turks. 
At midnight a roar and a boom shook our windows; 
the cruisers in the harbour were bombarding. 

All the next day the battle continued, crackling of 
rifles and the booming of the cruiser's guns, and that 
night the searchlights signalled across the harbour an 
appeal to General Kladis to return; the Turks were 
taking Ismid. 

The troops came back across the gulf, and the rifle- 
fire died down and stopped. The deserted streets were 
peopled again, and crowds clustered around placards 


hastily slapped on walls by Greek soldiers. By order 
of General Kladis, all who wished to leave Ismid must 
do so within forty-eight hours; on the third day the 
Greek troops would withdraw. 

There were now about fifteen thousand Armenian 
and Greek refugees in the city; the Greeks had fled 
from their interior villages, and the Armenians had 
been driven here and there across Turkey, for five 
years, before they came to this edge of it where the 
sea stopped them. In addition to these, there was the 
entire Christian population of Ismid, All these men 
and women, more than thirty-four thousand of them, 
with their children and such goods as they could carry, 
swarmed down to the water-front, frantic as crowds 
caught in a theatre fire. There were so many of them, 
there were so few boats; every gangplank seemed to 
each of them a last chance for life. 

These crowds were controlled,- in masses, by close 
ranks of Greek soldiers with bayonets. The Greek 
government sent boats. As each one came alongside 
the wharf and lowered its gangplanks, a shiver went 
over the crowd, which moved like a wheat-field in a 
heavy wind. Then down lanes of soldiers the multi 
tudes poured into the ship, filling it to overflowing, 
crowding the decks to the limit of standing-room, even 
pushing upward and clinging to the masts. There was 
a struggle on shore; the soldiers stopping the streams 
with their bodies and bayonets, and then there would 
be an outcry of screams and pleadings from the mass 
that had been silent. Shrieks of separated families, 
cries of trampled children. The gangplanks were 


lifted, the ship loaded down under the weight of its 
human freight, moved slowly away toward Thrace. 
Another one took its place. 

In the hospital, we were thinking of our Armenian 
nurses. All of them volunteered to stay with us. But 
our waiting-room was crowded with their parents, 
pleading with them to go. On the morning of the 
second day I called the mothers together, and spoke 
to them. I said that I would not insist that the girls 
stay with us, but that if their mothers would leave 
them in my care I would promise to keep them under 
American protection, to stay with them, and not to 
leave Ismid unless every one of them went with me. 
There was a moment of silence after I had said this, 
and then one mother looked up at me and said, "I 
lost my girl during the deportations. For three years 
I did not see her. Now that I have found her again, 
can I go away I do not know where and leave her 
behind me?" 

It was settled that the nurses should go, all except 
three who were orphans. All the servants had gone; 
cooks, laundresses, scrubwomen. The nurses stayed 
in the hospital and worked, day and night, caring for 
the crowded wards, until they must go down to the 
last boat, which left at five o'clock in the morning 
of the third day. The troops had embarked again; 
the harbour was empty; the last cruiser went out with 
the five o'clock boat. Only an American destroyer lay 
off-shore, sending a little gleam of light to us through 
the darkness. 

The city was silent, save that now and then a dog 


barked. From the window of the room where I was 
working I saw houses burning, red flame mixed with 
thick black smoke in the darkness. I had a maternity 
case, and no one to help me. My American nurses 
were so exhausted that I had sent them to bed. There 
seemed to be nothing in the world but silence, the light 
of the burning houses, and the agony of my patient 
who was giving birth to another life. Another Arme 
nian coming into the world! Born of innumerable 
agonies and despairs, child of thirty centuries of glory 
and fighting and suffering and stubborn hope, before 
morning this child would be living in the city just 
emptied of his people. What would his life be, what 
could it be? What did it all mean life, the endless 
blind struggle? It was the cold weak hour of the 
morning, when the realities of daylight melt into in 
tangible things, and it seems perhaps that everything 
is a dream. But the only thing to do was to work, for 
there was the task to be done. 

The child was born, and dawn was making the 
window-panes grey, when a strange noise came up from 
the courtyard through the open windows: a bellowing, 
bleating, whinnying, clattering wave of sound. I 
leaned from the window, and looked down on the 
backs of scores of cows, horses, donkeys, oxen, a solid 
mass of backs under a confusion of horns and ears and 
tossed noses. Somewhere beneath it were sheep and 
goats, bleating uncomfortably. 

During the night the last refugees had turned into 
our compound the animals they must leave. Why they 


did it I do not know. Perhaps it was in a desire to 
give them to us, or perhaps it was an unreasoning feel 
ing that there was safety under the American flag for 
the herds and flocks that were the only wealth. At 
any rate, there they were, and there they must not 
stay; we had no water for them, and no food. 

I had hastily bathed, slipped into a fresh uniform, 
and was going downstairs to order our new Turkish 
gateman to drive out the animals, when I met him com 
ing to say that a Turkish officer was there. The of 
ficer with several men was in the courtyard picking 
out the horses. 

He greeted me with beautiful courtesy, speaking the 
French of a Parisian with the manner of one. He was 
enchanted to meet me, he said, quite as though there 
were nothing extraordinary in my meeting him in my 
own courtyard, taking horses from it. He was happy 
to have the opportunity to express the respect and 
gratitude felt by all Turks for our work, to assure me 
that they appreciated our kindness to their soldiers. 
He begged that if we desired anything that it was 
possible to obtain, we must believe that the Turkish 
officers were most gratefully our servants. And with 
,a wave of his hand to his men, he said in Turkish, 
"Drive out that bay horse, I will take him for myself.' 7 

"But you can't take that horse; he's mine," I ex 
postulated. He was in fact my own horse, on which 
I rode about my work outside the hospital, and went 
for rides in the evenings. 

The officer yielded immediately and gracefully. He 
urged me to take, not only that horse, but any others 


that I chose. His air was that of a princely bestower 
of gifts, and I am convinced that he did not for a 
moment believe that the bay was really my horse. 

The reign of the Turks began in Ismid. It was the 
first step forward in the second move of the Turkish 
Nationalists. Beginning at Marash, they had driven 
the French from Cilicia. Beginning at Ismid, they 
were now advancing to drive the Greeks from Anatolia. 
Ismid was the beginning of the campaign that was to 
end with the burning of Smyrna, 

The battle-front had moved over us, and we were on 
the Turkish side. Off-shore lay an American destroyer, 
guarding us; the American flag was over our hospital 
and orphanage and relief stations. As well as we could, 
under the circumstances, we kept on working. 

Immediately there began in the city an only partly- 
suppressed riot of looting. The Turkish families living 
near us sent anxiously to beg that we let them know 
if we decided to leave, so that they could go at the 
same time. The streets were not safe, and precise 
orders were sent by the Turkish commandant; we were 
allowed to leave the hospital only by certain routes, 
and in daylight. No Armenian patient or employe was 
to leave the hospital grounds. We had to obtain a 
special military permit for our Armenian chauffeur, 
in order that he could drive our truck. 

The reason for this looting is to be found in the 
custom of warfare in Asia Minor. The rules of it may 
be found in the orders given to the children of Israel 
when they went out to take the cities of the Promised 


Land. Troops are not paid; their recompense for fight 
ing is the looting of conquered territory. Had Ismid 
been captured in battle, Greeks and Armenians would 
have been the victims of the customary three days and 
nights allowed for despoiling the enemy. Ismid was 
evacuated; only Turks were left in it when the Turkish 
army entered. Many of these Turkish citizens had 
taken possession of the shops, houses and goods that 
had been abandoned. The ragged, footsore and hungry 
troops were thus cheated of the pay they had expected 
for fighting, but they looted anyway. 

Almost at once we learned another thing; Ismid was 
not only like a city without police, it was like a city 
in a general strike. We could not get bread for the 
hospital; the bakers were Armenians and Greeks, 
therefore there were no more bakers in Ismid. The 
bathroom plumbing began to leak, and there was not 
a workman in Ismid who could fix it; Turks are not 
plumbers. Meat became unobtainable; Turks do not 
keep butcher shops. We could not get a cook or a 
laundress to replace those who had fled; Turks are not 

There was no commissary with the Turkish army; 
when the soldiers were hungry they foraged, killed 
their own meat, cooked it over their camp fires. There 
was no doctor with the Turkish army; behind the 
Turkish lines I was the only physician for scores of 

I remained in Ismid, in charge of the hospital, for 
three months after the Turks took the city. Nothing 


but that experience could have made me understand 
the conditions spreading over Asia Minor behind the 
victorious Turkish advance. 

It is not a question of blaming the Turk, who is 
what his blood and history and religion have made 
him; it is a question of facts. The Turkish National 
ists have risen with the cry, "Turkey for the Turks." 
In their fight against European imperialism they have, 
I believe, definitely and firmly determined upon a 
policy of having no more Christian minorities in 
Turkey. As long as there is a Christian minority in 
side the Ottoman state, it will be a danger to that state, 
both because the Christian peoples want their freedom, 
and because their desire to be free is used as a tool 
by European politicians. Half a century ago, realizing 
this fact, the Red Sultan began the wholesale killing 
of the Christian populations. To-day, the Turkish Na 
tionalists have in view the same end to clear this 
country their ancestors conquered of the last of its 
original Christian inhabitants. Those that they cannot 
kill they will drive out. 

But the Turk has never learned to do the work that, 
until now, the subject Christian populations have done. 
The Turk came into Asia Minor as a conqueror, a fly 
ing band of Mongolian warriors from the steppes of 
Northern Asia. The chiefs of his tribes became sultans 
and favourites of sultans, enriched by the loot of cap 
tured provinces. They have had no more need to learn 
to work than the courtiers of France in the seventeenth 
century. Like those courtiers, these rich Turkish 
leaders have developed, with centuries of infusion of 


white blood, the most charming manners, the most cul 
tivated tastes, the most delightful personalities, and the 
same ideas of honour and the same capacity for ruth 
less cruelty that distinguished the European courts of 
the Middle Ages. 

Meantime, their humble Turkish followers have to 
some extent settled on the soil. They have learned to 
sow and cultivate and harvest. Their little houses, 
bare of furniture, are spotlessly clean inside, though 
their courtyards are piled with garbage. They are per 
sonally clean, for the laws of the Koran in regard to 
personal cleanliness are as strict as the laws of Moses. 
They are industrious in their little fields, though the 
Turkish peasant women do much of the work, as peas 
ant women do everywhere in Europe and Asia. They 
do not read or write, or care about the world outside 
their village; they have their food, their roof under 
which to sleep. The rest they leave to the will of 
Allah, and now and then it is the will of Allah that a 
leader shall take them out to war against the infidel and 
give them the loot that belongs to victors. 

These two classes make the Turkish state. But 
within this state there have been, until the Peace of 
Versailles, the remnants of the conquered peoples, 
Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Jews, Armenians, Greeks. 
The Arabs and Kurds are still nomadic peoples. The 
Assyrians were mountaineers and shepherds. The 
Jews were traders and philosophers. The Armenians 
and Greeks developed the crafts and occupations of 
civilization. The Armenians and Greeks were the 
bakers, carpenters, masons, tinsmiths, bookkeepers, 


merchants, bankers, exporters and importers, the 

In getting rid of them, in order to save herself politi 
cally, the new Turkish state has swept away the whole 
of the small structure of modern civilization that she 
had. Nothing is left but warriors, politicians, and a 
few agriculturists whose sons are in the army. 

The former comfortable citizens of Ismid, who had 
made Ismid a city, were now sitting penniless, with 
empty hands, in the enforced idleness of refugee-camps 
in Eastern Thrace. Ismid was left to disorganization, 
famine, and militarism. 

Against so wide a background, our own struggles to 
keep our work alive may seem so small as to appear 
comic. But they seemed to me typical of the general 
conditions. We tried to keep the hospital running 
we shut off the water in the bathroom and we suc 
ceeded, limpingly. The Turkish gateman suggested 
that his wife and sister come to do our cooking and 
laundry work. They came, shapeless bundles of black 
cloth from which one eye peeped, and all day long 
they sat in our kitchen, sat in our laundry, or came 
out to sit together in our courtyard. I think they 
meant to do the work; but they simply did not know 
how. They knew nothing of cookstoves and washtubs. 
Ya Allah! what were they to do with them? 

We opened a dispensary in the city, for disease was 
spreading among the Turkish people. An American 
flag was over the door, a Turk guarded the place. One 
night he was not there, and the dispensary was raided, 


all cloth stolen from it, and the drugs scattered among 
spilled medicines on the floor. We had the place 
cleaned and put in order again, and the Turkish com 
mandant detailed four soldiers to watch it night and 
day. Two weeks later it was raided again. We closed 
the dispensary. 

The Turkish commandant came to beg me to reopen 
it. "We do appreciate what you are doing/' he said. 
"Believe me ; we are sincerely grateful. Anything that 
we can do, I promise you will be done. Only open the 
dispensary again, and I will give you guards for it." 

"But you did give me guards. They do not guard," 
I replied. "We cannot afford the waste of supplies, 
they are too precious, and they are sent to us to use. 
No, we cannot risk such a loss again." 

The famine became serious; Turks were dying of 
starvation in the streets. Yet the cause must have 
been lack of organization; the soldiers running like 
locusts over the fertile country, the peasants hoarding 
their food instead of sending it to Ismid. The Near 
East Relief opened feeding stations for five thousand 
civilians of Ismid, and our truck ran every day, helping 
to carry supplies. 

One day a resplendent Turkish officer called at my 
office and informed me with apparently sincere expres 
sions of regret that the tires had been stolen from our 
truck in our garage. "I assure you, madame," he 
protested, "that I offer you in the name of the govern 
ment, our deepest apologies. Please, I beg you to allow 
me to pay you in full for the tires." 

"But the money is of no use to us," I said. "We 


need the tires. Our truck cannot run without them. 
This is a most serious calamity, because we need the 
truck every day in our work. Can't you find the 
thieves and bring back the tires?" 

"I should be so glad to do so, madame," he replied, 
"but unfortunately the tires are on my car, and I am 
this moment starting for Angora. I have not an instant 
to spare. There is no time to take them off." He 
again reiterated his regrets, and his assurance that this 
unfortunate situation should never have arisen had he 
only known of it in time. Then he got into his ma 
chine, an army truck, and drove away on the tires. 

He spoke French perfectly; I had understood every 
word he said. But why he said them, what was in 
his mind, I shall never understand. 

Trains were running to Constantinople, but we were 
not allowed to leave Ismid without a permit. This, 
under the circumstances, was a matter of course. But 
the permit could not be issued by any one in Ismid; 
it was necessary to send to Angora for it. And no 
American mind could fathom the motives of Angora. 
Sometimes the permit came, sometimes it was refused, 
sometimes the request for it was lost and never heard 
of again. Sometimes the permit arrived, and was not 
honoured at the station. 

Miss MacLaren, one of the American nurses, had an 
ulcerated tooth. The dentists in Ismid had been 
Armenian and Greek; it was now necessary to go to 
Constantinople to reach a dentist's office. A request 
for a permit was sent to Angora with all possible ur 
gency; after three weeks of waiting, it arrived. I took 


her to the station, where the train stood waiting. The 
station guards refused to let her get on the train. 

It would, in any other country than Turkey, have 
meant another delay, another permit. But I simply 
put her in my car, and before the eyes of the guards 
and the trainmen drove out on the road that followed 
the railway, to the next station, in the neutral zone. 
When the train overtook us there, she got on it and 
went to Constantinople. 

Battling against such conditions as .these, in a wholly 
demoralized town, we somehow continued to work. 
Now and then the rioting became serious; once the 
American destroyer sent a landing party ashore to 
guard the hospital overnight. Always, day and night, 
we kept in order the signals that would call for help 
if it were needed. 

In September I left Ismid for Constantinople, to 
cross the Black Sea and Georgia, on my way to Cau 
casian Armenia. The hospital at Ismid continued its 
work for ten months longer, and then was obliged 
to close because the difficulties of running a modern 
institution under Turkish rule had become Impossi 


I WENT to the Caucasus because the medical work 
there was increasing. Medical work in war-time 
is largely emergency work. When wars end ; the 
hard medical fight begins. The harvest of war is 
disease, and epidemics kill thousands where bullets 
have killed hundreds. 

When the Maxim Gorki stops in Alexandropol, and 
an American eye sees for the first time this city which 
was formerly the largest in Russian Armenia, the sen 
sation is one of distinct shock. Apparently nothing 
remains of the city but ruins. The effect is much as 
though some prosperous small city of the American 
Middle West had been destroyed by a stroke of a 
gigantic hand. 

The carriage drives past rows of two-story stone 
buildings, roofless, windowless, with one wall or two 
fallen and the others crumbling. Here and there these 
skeletons of buildings have been used as support and 
protection for haystacks, or for equally tall piles of 
dried dung cakes, stored for winter fuel. Shoulder 
high along many walls are plastered other dung cakes, 
drying. Here and there an attempt has been made, 
with piled stones or flattened Standard Oil cans, to 
make a corner livable. But the general effect is ruin 



and desolation, not relieved by the rolling plain, tree 
less and uninhabited, which runs fifty miles south-east 
to the gigantic base of Mount Algoz. 

Alexandropol is the youngest city in Armenia, being 
only eighty-seven years old, yet its little history tells 
all the story of Russian Armenia, as the life of a germ 
on a microscope slide reveals the history of a disease. 

When our grandfathers were young, Alexandropol 
was a little Armenian village named Gumri, on the 
banks of Barley River (the Arpa Chai). Armenians 
had lived here, probably, long before the days when 
the Assyrian Empire rose on the plains of Asia Minor. 
All recorded history had washed over this village; the 
Empire of the Medes and Persians, the glorious cen 
turies of the Armenian Empire, the invasions of Alex 
ander the Great, the Roman Empire, and the Byzan 
tine. But the little village of Gumri had no history. 
Its people lived as their ancestors had lived, and as 
Armenian villagers live to-day, in little, stone huts half- 
buried in the earth to protect them from summer's heat 
and winter's cold. They had a. few ox-carts, they 
scratched a little soil with wooden ploughs and har 
vested a little grain to be threshed by the feet of the 
oxen and ground in mortars. They had a few sheep, 
and spun and wove the wool. Birth and marriage and 
death, spring and summer and winter, and the rise and 
fall of empires, passed over this village and left it the 

In the year 1800, it belonged to the kingdom of 
Georgia, and the people probably heard, from some 
chance traveller stopping for the night, that the King 


of Georgia had gone on a journey beyond the reach 
of any villager's imagination a journey to see the Tsar 
of the Russias. But the village of Gumri could not 
have known, a year later, that it was now annexed to 
Russia, for Georgia itself did not know that it had 
been annexed. 

The story of that annexation of half the Caucasus, 
hardly more than a century ago, is amazing to any 
American. We have forgotten the days when politics 
were so simple and so personal. It happened in this 
way: The king of Georgia, troubled by the ceaseless 
wars between the many tribes in his kingdom, and 
unable to suppress them, decided to ask the help of 
the Tsar. He gave orders to his goldbeaters and silver 
smiths, to weavers of rugs and writers on parchment, 
and when a number of suitable gifts were prepared and 
the parchment scroll setting forth his difficulties was 
ready, he ordered out the sumptuous, royal caravan of 
camels and set out with his nobles to visit the Tsar. 

A year later he reached the court of St. Petersburg, 
and the Tsar received him with every courtesy and 
honour. Apartments in the Winter Palace were set 
aside for the Georgian king and his nobles. Gifts and 
entertainments were showered upon them. Unfortu 
nately, soon after their arrival, the king of Georgia 
mysteriously died. But the nobles were not so grieved 
as they might have been, for they were dazzled by the 
splendours and luxuries of the court. On their wild 
mountains and in their rude castles above gorges roar 
ing with waterfalls they had not dreamed of a city like 
St. Petersburg, of palaces like the Tsar's, of bewilder- 


ing ladies in costumes from Paris. The Georgians are 
perhaps the most handsome men on earth, and their 
picturesque costumes are the most suited to display 
masculine beauty. The Georgian princes were the 
rage of the season at the Imperial court, and they en 
joyed it immensely. Georgians are not only handsome 
and brave, they are also reckless, extravagant, hot 
headed and childlike. The princes lost money at 
gambling tables with a prodigality that challenged even 
that of the Russians; they quickly learned to be hosts 
at parties that would have made Cleopatra worry about 
the bills. When they had no more money, the generous 
Tsar refilled their purses, asking in exchange only the 
distant, half-forgotten castles and lands in the Georgian 
mountains. Meanwhile, the parchment brought by the 
king of Georgia had somehow been lost by the keeper 
of the Imperial archives, and Russian state documents 
began casually to refer to "our province of Georgia." 
Georgia had been annexed. 

Georgia went on living as always, unaware of the 
transfer, and having its own engrossing little wars 
between tribes, until the Russian armies came down to 
suppress them. Then there was much brave fighting; 
mediaeval castle after castle held out to the last against 
the Russians, and when it fell its defenders learned with 
astonishment that they were to be hanged as rebels 
against their Emperor, the Tsar. 

Gumri was on the plain, and had no part in the 
many battles. Eventually, however, a regiment of Cos 
sacks appeared and made camp on the banks of the 
Arpa Chai; a military outpost to protect the new Rus- 


sian frontier. Troops massed there to drive the fron 
tier even farther southward. From Gumr! they 
marched to attack the Persians at Erivan, and when 
Erivan fell and peace was signed with Persia in Feb 
ruary, 1828, Marshal Paskevich concentrated at Gumri 
the forces which attacked Turkey three months 

The Tsar was moving down toward Constantinople. 
But the Armenians of Turkey saw in the Russian 
armies the Christian power that would release them 
from bondage to the Moslem Turk. They rose to 
fight beside the Russians; together they took Kars and 
Erzeroum and a great slice of Turkish territory. If 
Russia had held these conquests, Gumri would have 
remained the simple village it had always been. But 
there was a Peace Conference; Russia returned Kars 
and Erzeroum to Turkey by the Peace of Adrianople. 
The unfortunate Armenians who had welcomed the 
Russians fled northward in a flood of refugees behind 
the Russian retreat, to dig themselves a shelter in the 
plains of the Arpa Chai. Gumri became the advance 
military base of the Russian armies. 

For a time the Russian movement toward Constanti 
nople stopped, to consolidate its winnings, and to face 
England, who was ready to fight rather than let Russia 
cut the British route to India. Emperor Nicholas the 
First came down through the Caucasus in person and 
inspected Gumri, which was already being made into 
an important fortress. He approved the plans, named 
the place Alexandropol, signed a few orders on the Im 
perial treasury, and went back to St. Petersburg. Fif- 


teen years later Gumri had become Alexandropol, the 
largest city in Russian Armenia. 

The Russians are good builders, and Armenians have 
been renowned for masonry work since men first began 
to build stone houses. Not far from Alexandropol 
there are limitless quantities of a black volcanic rock 
which cuts like sandstone. Three enormous military 
posts, for infantry, cavalry and artillery, were beauti 
fully built of this stone and roofed with red tiles. 
These posts were AlexandropoPs reason for being and 
only means of support. Around them grew up a city 
of thirty thousand Armenians, living and working in 
buildings of the same black stone. Three churches 
and a cathedral for the Gregorian Armenians, one 
Armenian Catholic church, and a chapel for the few 
hundred Greek refugees from Erzeroum, were added 
to the city. Armenian education was restricted by the 
Russian government; Alexandropol was allowed only 
two small primary schools, and a Russian school which 
taught badly less than a hundred pupils. 

Nothing more happened in Russian Armenia until 
the Russian government confiscated the Armenian 
Church treasure in 1905. Then an outbreak of revo 
lution swept through Armenia, so violent that the Cos 
sacks could not put it down. The Tsar's secret police 
were more powerful; they armed the Tartars, and in 
cited them to massacre the Armenians. Thereafter 
there was constant war between the Armenian and 
Tartar villages, until Germany marched on Belgium in 
1914. Simultaneously, the Russian armies marched 
down from Alexandropol into Turkey. 


These were the armies whose arrival was prayed for 
by the Armenians of Van, entrenched in their quarter 
and fighting the Turks, while the girls I met in the 
Rescue Home in Scutari were being driven back and 
forth across Turkey, through massacre into slavery. 

The Russians came in time to help the Armenians 
take Van. As they moved forward, again Armenians 
hailed them as deliverers, again Armenian companies 
joined the Russian army, while their women and chil 
dren poured northward into Russian Armenia. The 
Russian armies again took Kars and Erzeroum, ad 
vancing always farther into Turkey. 

There was no fighting in Russian Armenia except 
between the Armenian and Tartar villagers until the 
Russian revolution worked its way down through the 
Caucasus to the front lines. Then, in 1918, the armies 
went to pieces, the soldiers shot their officers and went 
home, and the Turks followed on their heels, clean 
across the whole of Russian Armenia. 

The whole Armenian population of Northern 
Turkey, which had welcomed the Russians, broke 
loose and stampeded northward, fleeing from Turkish 
vengeance. With it went the whole population of 
Russian Armenia, northward into the mountains of 
Georgia, pursued by the Turks. Then came the Armi 
stice, and the Turks retreated. 

Out of the chaos they left behind them rose the 
Armenian Republic. For half a century the few uni 
versities of Tsarist Russia had been hotbeds of revo 
lution. The few Armenians that could get into uni 
versities inevitably became revolutionists, working un- 


derground, hunted by the Russian police. Most of 
them were members of the Socialist revolutionary par 
ties. But there was another Armenian group, the 
Armenian Nationalists. They were not anarchists, so 
cialists or communists; they were revolutionists in the 
sense that George Washington was. These National 
ists gathered together the Armenian soldiers who had 
been armed by Russia, declared their independence, 
and asked recognition and help from the Allies. 

The waves of refugees were coming southward again. 
They found their villages destroyed not by the Turks, 
but by other wandering bands of refugees who had 
torn down roof-beams and the timbers that supported 
walls, to feed their camp fires. There was no harvest, 
for the Turks had taken it, and had also eaten the 
cattle and sheep. Alexandropol had no bread, and its 
debris-choked streets were filled with dead and dying. 

Then the Americans appeared. They took the 
wrecked barracks, repaired them and filled them with 
orphans. They cleaned the streets, carried out and 
buried wagon-loads of dead, distributed food and cloth 
ing and medicines. But it was like trying to rebuild 
between two earthquake shocks; the earth still 
trembled beneath their feet. All the old hatreds had 
been fanned by the war; the Tartars were attacking 
Armenians and Molokans, the Armenians were fight 
ing Turks and Georgians; the English army had gone 
northward from Persia to the Baku oil-fields; the Red 
armies were pushing south the chaos of revolution. 

In 1920 the Turks came through this turmoil like a 
knife through butter. Kars, permeated with Bolshevik 


propaganda, fell without a struggle. Again the stam 
pede of refugees started northward. Again the Turks 
came into Alexandropol. The Armenian Nationalist 
government was defeated and dispersed, and this time 
a new Armenian group came to the top. It was the 
Armenian branch of the Communist party. Under the 
wing of the Turkish military occupation, it proclaimed 
in Alexandropol the creation of the Armenian Soviet 

The last act of the Armenian Nationalist government 
was desperately to sign a treaty of peace with Turkey, 
which moved the Turkish frontier northward to the 
banks of the Araxes River. The Turks retreated, but 
before the Nationalist government could recover, the 
Russian armies had joined the Armenian Soviet govern 
ment. The Armenian Nationalist government, the 
hope of an independent Armenian state, was irrevoca 
bly lost. 

The exiled Nationalist President, Khatissian, has 
since lived in Geneva, Switzerland, where he has at 
tempted to continue his service to his beloved country 
by keeping before the world the needs of Armenia and 
a knowledge of the unfulfilled promises of the Allied 


When we came into Alexandropol in 1921, Erivan 
was the capital of Soviet Armenia, and Alexandropol 
was the largest orphanage in the world. 

Five minutes of driving past ruined buildings brings 
one to the still-living core of the city half-abandoned 
rows of shops, showing reviving commerce by dingy 


windows piled with fruit or cigarettes, displaying a 
few lambskins and lambskin caps, or racks of American 
old clothes. A high-wheeled cart drawn by two large, 
white camels and driven by a Bolshevik soldier In 
peaked, red-starred cap rattles down the street, dis 
turbing a knot of men gathered around a sheep. Its 
owner holds it by the horns, while prospective buyers 
run their hands through the wool to feel muscle and 
fat. A few two- and three-storied buildings display the 
rayed star and red flag of government offices ; a white 
statue of Marx, newly erected, stands above a pile of 

The road leaves these signs of activity behind, passes 
again between rows of crumbling buildings, and curls 
around a little hill, bare and wind-swept. Beyond it 
appear the many solid, long buildings of Kazachy Post, 
headquarters of the Near East Relief in Armenia. 

In mid-morning, these buildings have the populous 
and yet deserted look of factories. One story high, 
built of the black volcanic rock relieved with trim of 
red brick and red-tiled roofs, they cover a long swell 
of the prairie with their utilitarian military arrange 
ment. There are a dozen or more of them, end to 
end, along the railroad track; others stand in groups 
of four and six, roughly enclosing several acres of drill- 
ground. In this bare space rise the right-angled and 
circular walls of an Armenian church. The dusty roads 
that run between the buildings are deserted save for a 
carriage or two accompanied by dust-clouds, and re 
duced to miniature by the distances. Here and there 
one sees a child bound on an errand, a solitary white 


speck moving across the field of vision. But a low 
hum rises from all the buildings, like the murmuring 
from beehives. 

This is the usual aspect of Kazachy Post in summer, 
and of the other barrack-groups, Seversky Post and 
Polygon. In winter, the savagery of nature over 
whelms it all. The great bulk of Mount Algoz is a 
white mound on the horizon, and all the world at its 
foot is smothered in snow. Snow buries the red roofs 
and piles against the buildings till the black stones seem 
to be cracks in the sides of snow-drifts, and the wagon- 
roads are trenches deep-cut in snow, and the wind that 
blows across the interminable plains is scented with 
snow and edged with ice. 

Yet it is only with an effort that one recalls either 
of these aspects. To one who has seen Alexandropol 
the sound of its name brings another picture the 
amazing, stupendous spectacle of summer noon or eve 
ning, when the children pour from the buildings to 
cover the landscape. 

There can be no other sight like it in the world. 
The earth becomes alive with little white figures, as an 
anthill is alive with ants. Long lines of them cross 
and criss-cross, linking the buildings together. Thou 
sands of them scatter between the lines, each follow 
ing his own direction over the rolling plain, a little indi 
vidual lost in the mass-effect of tumultuous motion. 
From them all rises a sound, too widespread to be 
called a clamour, too light to be called a roar, too 
sharp to be a murmur thousands upon thousands of 
children's voices, laughing, crying, singing, talking, 


shouting, calling. The monitors of each line have 
whistles which they blow at any excuse or with none; 
somewhere in the mass Boy Scout bands are tuning 
instruments or playing marches; at the dining rooms 
the beat of gongs marshals the ranks, and the kitchens 
sound like factories with rattle of spoons. But unless 
you are close to one of these noises, you hear none of 
them. All are submerged and lost in the sound of 
children's voices. 

There were more than twenty-five thousand or 
phaned Armenian children in the three posts at Alex- 
andropol, and each of them has a human story of 
terror and flight, of murder and death from exhaustion 
on refugee-marches, of being lost and cold and hungry 
and sick. Each of them, not too young to remember, 
had memories of long journeys on bare feet across 
plains and over mountains, fleeing northward to escape 
the Turks, southward to escape the Georgians, west 
ward to escape the Tartars. Some had walked from 
the Black Sea to Mesopotamia, from Mesopotamia to 
Persia, from Persia to Baku, from Baku into the 
steppes of Russia and the Ural Mountains, and south 
ward again, past the Sea of Azov, over the Caucasian 
ranges, across Georgia and back once more to this 
Turkish border, on the banks of the Arpa Chai. 

"Where do you come from?" one asked them, and 
they replied. "From Van." "From Trebizond." 
"From Baku." 

"Have you a father, a mother?" 

"They took my father away, and my mother was 


killed in Syria." Or, "They killed my father and I 
don't know where my mother is. I lost her and the 
baby on the desert in Azerbaijan. I met a woman in 
Russia who said she saw my mother in Georgia, but I 
don't know where she is now." 
"Do you know where any of your relatives are?" 
"Yes, I have a brother. He is in the American or 
phanage in Erivan." 

But these twenty-five thousand stories were lost in 
the mass of them. The child became a unit in handled 
hundreds. Only by organization could the thousands 
be fed and clothed, schooled and doctored. Often it 
seemed that the big fantastic spectacle was this ad 
venture of American organization in the immemorial 
chaos of the Caucasus. It was a bit of modern Amer 
ica inserted between two chapters of the Old Testa- 
men t the wandering refugees led by Moses, the wars 
between Israelites and Philistines, the Lost Tribes in 
their dispersion, coming suddenly upon a gigantic 
American business organization which handled food 
and shelter and education and hospital care. 

"Soviet Armenia," we said. And it was true that 
Armenian Communists filled all political offices. But 
Communism is an economic theory, and in Armenia it 
remained merely a theory. Economically, Americans 
were governing the country. American activities were 
felt in every village; the American organization was 
the business organization of Armenia. The peasants 
sold it wood, cotton, vegetables, cheese, hay, meat, 
wool, butter, eggs, fruit, and received in exchange the 


American old clothes which were far more valuable 
than money. For the same priceless wages men and 
women and ox-teams worked for the Americans, who 
were the only large employers of labour in the Cau 
casus. Great blocks of buildings were filled with the 
shops that manufactured cloth, clothing, shoes, furni 
ture, pottery, window-frames, doors, stoves, ploughs, 
horseshoes, wagons, for the orphanages and the or 
phanage farms. All the children strong enough to do 
so worked part-time in these shops, which taught them 
trades while supplying them cheaply with necessities, 
but they worked under the direction of skilled Arme 
nians. Armenian teachers found employment in the 
schools. The numbers of peasants and ox-teams that 
worked on the twenty-two thousand, seven hundred 
acres of the American farms ran into the hundreds. 
All these activities grew from the necessity of pro 
viding for the forty thousand orphans in our care in 
Armenia, but, in addition, there was the adult relief 
programme, which was giving food and clothes in ex 
change for labour on roads, bridges, irrigation canals 
and electric plants. 

The weight of this enormous American organization 
had broken down the communistic system of distribu 
tion even while the new Soviet government was trying 
to set it up. The Americans were there when the 
Turks invaded the Nationalist Armenian Republic in 
1920; when the Bolsheviks took over the country the 
only thing in it which was not disorganized was the 
American machinery for taking care of the orphans. 
That continued to work, and neither laws nor protests 


could keep it from working; to stop it by force meant 
to starve the next generation of Armenians. 

The Soviet government decreed that all farm-prod 
ucts and labour must be handled by Soviet officials, but 
the decree was waste paper while orphans were hungry 
and cold, and Soviet officials had neither food nor wood. 
The peasants had these things, and the Americans had 
old clothes; nothing could have stopped the stream of 
trade between them. 

As a Communist, every government official hated the 
Americans; as a man and an Armenian, he was grateful 
to them for saving the life of the Armenian people. 
Every American who was working overtime to do this 
hated Communism, but could forty thousand helpless 
children, whose lives had just been saved by desperate 
efforts, be abandoned again to disease and starvation? 

Ordinarily, medical work among these children 
would have meant merely establishing hospitals to take 
care of those who fell ill in normally conducted insti 
tutions, a very small per cent. But in Armenia, we 
found the medical relief of forty thousand children on 
our hands. I mean this literally. There was not one 
healthy child among them. 

The orphanage buildings were not yet finished. 
When it is necessary to cut down the tree to saw into 
lumber to give the carpenters to make into a window- 
frame to set in a wall that must be built from a heap 
of stones, buildings that will shelter forty thousand 
children cannot be finished in a year. Four walls with 
a roof above them were a heaven of shelter to the 


children, and more than one building was crowded 
before the roof was finished. Beds were still being 
made; in the meantime the children slept on the floors. 
The beds that came pouring from the shops were made 
in two and three layers, like bunks in a steamer cabin, 
and at least two children, sometimes four, slept in every 
bunk. This crowded condition was horrible from any 
standpoint of health, but a hundred times more horrible 
were the steps of the buildings, covered with filthy 
heaps of children who were dying because there was 
no room for them inside. 

The medical work at first was such work as may be 
done on a battlefield under fire. Diseases that at home 
would have hospital care were here the normal stand 
ard of health. As fast as the children could be taken 
in, they were undressed by nurses with rolled-up 
sleeves and handy basins of antiseptics; the rags that 
were taken off were put with tongs into a fire; the child 
was bathed, its head was shaved, and it went into the 
hands of the nurse who dressed its sores. Contagious 
diseases were isolated as much as possible, but all the 
children had the contagious diseases of favus and 

As rapidly as possible they were sorted out, and the 
orphanages were graded by scale of diseases. Four 
teen hospitals were opened. But every orphanage was 
also a hospital, every child was a patient, and medical 
treatment was as much a part of the orphanage routine 
as mealtime. Every morning in Alexandropol the inside 
of the eyelids of eighteen thousand children was rubbed 
with a copper pencil treatment for tracoma, the eye- 


disease that blinds and every child had his own cop 
per pencil numbered and filed in a box. 

Of the many other diseases I will not speak. These 
are, after all, technical subjects. And the Americans 
who sent us to Armenia, the safe and clean Americans 
for whom I am writing, will be sickened even by read 
ing of the things these children lived with every day. 

But I wish to say this: Every American who went 
to the Caucasus was a hero. Of myself I do not speak, 
nor of the other doctors who were working there before 
me, who remained to work with me, and who are there 
yet doing the last of the work among the recovering 
healthy children; our profession is work among the 
sick. But the relief workers, the orphanage managers, 
the construction men and supply men, all the men and 
women who directed the work, left the cleanliness and 
health of America and went to the Caucasus to live 
every day in invisible danger of blindness and horrible 
death. What Father Damien did among the lepers, 
what Florence Nightingale did in the pest-hole of 
Scutari, these men and women did in the Caucasus. 
And America sent so many of them that the list of 
their names is too long to record here. Nor do I think 
they wish to have their names recorded. What they 
did they did, because they are Americans, because they 
represent the spirit of America. 


SEVERSKY POST was over the hills from Alex- 
andropol. The tracoma orphanage (six thousand 
of the worst cases) and the tent-hospitals ^f or 
tubercular children were there. But the attraction of 
Seversky was that its isolation made it seem so much 
more vividly in Armenia. Three minutes from it were 
the banks of the Arpa Chai, where the river enters a 
narrow valley between hills. The higher hills to the 
south were now in Turkey, and the blue mountains 
beyond them hid Trebizond and Van. 

In the late afternoons the children cover the little 
plain between Seversky and the river, dancing Arme 
nian dances in little, white eddies around a leader. 
Their voices are like the shrill, sweet chattering of 
birds. Among the boulders on the river's edge dozens 
of little ermine play in and out with flicker of swift 
tails and bright eyes. Beyond the bridge are the sol 
diers 7 camps, and on the road there is always a pass 
ing of army carts, large-wheeled, rickety affairs that 
look absurdly small behind the huge white camels that 
draw them. 

Down this road, too, come Armenian women bent 
under packs and walking on bare, or rag-bound feet. 
They linger at the roadside to watch the dancing chil- 



dren, and when the children have gone trooping in to 
supper and to bed you will always find a woman or 
two slipping furtively about the buildings. If, meet 
ing one, you question her, she says, "God be with you. 
I come from the province of Van. My husband is 
killed and my children dead. I go to find my brother, 
who was in Tiflis before the war." If you question 
her further, too closely, she will ask God to bless 
you, and shuffle off down the road to the north. 

But if you do not drive her away by questions you 
will see her lingering there, sometimes for days. She 
watches the children. She walks around the tent-hos 
pitals. From time to time, when she finds a child 
alone, she will ask questions. "Have you seen a little 
girl named Morning Star, from the province of Van? 
She should be seven years old now." 

From the window of an office you see her question 
ing, and turning away. Or sometimes waiting on that 
spot for hours, until the organization's routine brings 
toward her a little girl who will break away from the 
others, shrieking, "Mother! My mother!" Then the 
woman embraces her, carefully, because of the white 
clothes and her own dirty rags. She holds her away 
and looks at her, looks at the clean skin and clean 
hair, touches the cheeks that are filling out, and fingers 
the coarse dress of sheeting. You see them minutes 
later, the woman kneeling with the child before her, 
each gazing into the other's eyes as though finding 
nourishment there to feed a long hunger. 

You turn back to your work. That child is not an 
orphan; she has found her mother. You should go 


down and question them; you should refer the case to 
the family-finding department, which is discharging 
children as fast as possible. It would give the little 
girl a blanket and an outfit of whole garments and an 
order for half-rations 3 and there would be one less in 
the dormitories where the beds hold three. But you 
do not do it. 

You glance from the window once more. Morning 
Star is with the others, in the long lines filing into the 
dining-room, and her mother is trudging out of sight 
over the hill. 

The end of that story is in the future. The ends of 
other stories like it are found in the offices, where 
every day five or six women appear to ask for their 

"I lost them on the road, after the Turks took Kars," 
one said. "They were in a cart and I was walking. 
I fell down by the road. In the morning a woman 
gave me some water and bread and I went on to 
Erivan. Nobody there had heard of my children. I 
worked for the Americans, scrubbing in the hospital. 
My children were not in the orphanages. I heard that 
my brether was in Djalal-Oghly, and I walked there. 
My brother was sick and had no work. That was last 
spring. My children were not in Djalal-Oghly, but I 
saw my cousin's son in the orphanage there. He said 
my children were here, I walked here, and saw my 
son in Polygon Post; he said the baby was here in 
the hospital, and I waited nine days outside the hospital 
but did not see my baby. Then I walked back to 
Djalal-Oghly. My brother has a house now, and a 


job, and I come to get my baby. Is my baby alive? 
If she is alive, she is four years old now. Her name 
is Purity, and when she laughs she has a dimple in 
her chin. I want my baby now. My brother has a 
cart, and he is buying an ox. When he has the ox, 
then I will come again for my son. He can drive the 
ox-cart, and we will have bread for us all." 

It is from glimpses like that that one gets the pic 
ture of the human lives that make Russian Armenia. 
This is the story of the million and a half of its 
Armenian population a nomad, refugee life for five 
years, during which villages and homes were destroyed 
and families scattered, and now a settling down and a 
reintegration of the primitive social structure. "I 
want my baby now," and "My brother is buying an 
ox," expresses it all. 

Interested in this woman, we inquired next day 
whether her baby had been found among the six thou 
sand in Seversky Post. Yes, Purity was one of Miss 
MacKaye's Blue Babies. Impossible, then, not to go 
with the mother and the office-girl across the drill- 
fields to the home of the Blue Babies, where one could 
watch the meeting. 

Miss MacKaye's Blue Babies are the point in Sever 
sky Post where emotion breaks through routine. The 
debate between organization and emotion in charitable 
work is an endless one, and painful to those involved 
in it. A child needs love, a warm hand to hold, and a 
listening sympathy, perhaps even more than food and 
shelter. Food and shelter save the body, love saves 
the heart and soul But when forty thousand children 


are dying in ditches and fields, how can one decide to 
give love and time to a thousand and let the others 
die? The orphans of Russian Armenia were given 
bare life, at the cost of incredible effort. A handful of 
Americans in a devastated country saved them got 
them bathed in rooms that had to be built on ground 
from which bodies and debris of fallen buildings must 
first be cleared, got them sheltered from cold under 
roofs that were laid above their heads, and beside 
stoves that were made from old oil cans in blacksmith 
shops that must first be built and equipped, got their 
nakedness covered with clothes that must be shipped 
and followed and fought for, all the way from New 
York to Constantinople and over the Black Sea and 
through the war in Georgia and across chaotic Armenia. 
This was done by organization; nothing else could have 
done it. But the child was lost in the mass, as a grain 
of wheat vanishes in the floor pouring into a grain- 
elevator. The children were handled in blocks of thou 
sands, they became symbols in card-index systems so 
many thousands of receptacles into which so many hun 
dreds of pounds of corn-grits and fats must be put in 
so many hours. There was no time to think of them 
as immature human beings. 

Two years had not been time enough in which to 
do all that must be done. Deaths from cold and star 
vation had been stopped, the fight against disease was 
under way and gaining ground, schools had been pro 
vided, workshops were running. There was time, then, 
to catch the breath and say that something must be 
done to equip the children for living. There was some 


opposition to spending funds which were running 
short for luxuries like Boy Scout bands and Y.M.C.A. 
work in boy's camps. Armenia had not known such 
things in the past; it was rather like giving cake to 
the starving. But neither had Armenians ever before 
been caught by the huge impersonality of organiza 
tion that impersonality so destructive to the human 
spirit that, wherever it appears, social service work 
follows as its antidote. The debate was warm, in the 
councils of the Near East Relief. Meanwhile, quietly, 
and because she is the kind of person who does things 
when she can no longer bear their not being done, 
Janet MacKaye had created the Blue Babies. 

There were sixty or seventy of them, all less than 
eight years old, and they were called the Blue Babies 
because, partly by dogged persistence, and partly by 
her own generosity, Miss MacKaye had got them 
every one dressed as cunningly as any American mother 
dresses her own babies. They wore little dresses and 
baby-boy suits of blue chambray, with white collars or 
bits of embroidery on pockets. They lived in a house 
where there was a playroom with pictures on the walls, 
toys in play-pens for the very littlest babies, and a 
few rag dolls and little carts for the older ones. There 
was even a baby phonograph that scratchily sang. 
These were all gifts from Miss MacKaye's personal 

But it was not these riches of possessions and gar 
ments that really distinguished the Blue Babies; it 
was the confidence with which they slid a hand into 


yours and skipped beside yon. Everywhere in all the 
posts the wistful little girls would wave their hands 
and call "Good night!" to the passing American; a 
hundred times a day a child timidly touched your skirt 
and searched your face with eyes hungry for a smile 
that would be all her own. But the Blue Babies did 
not ask for your interest and affection; they took them, 
happily, expecting them from you because they had 
always had them from Miss MacKaye. 

It was one of these Blue Babies that the mother from 
Van was going to take away. We found them playing 
Ring-around-a-Rosy, in a whirling blue circle, singing 
out of tune with all the strength of healthy lungs. The 
mother stopped at sight of them and stood rolling and 
unrolling her hands in the ends of her black headker- 
chief. There was nothing bright or gay about her 
stooped figure, clothed in salvage from some old- 
clothes bundle a navy blue serge waist, a worn black 
petticoat, some man's old shoes, broken at the sides. 
Her face was wrinkled and brown as leather, her teeth 
were decaying, and between the bright dark eyes was 
the blue tattoo mark of the Turkish-Armenian woman 
who has known slavery to the Arabs. 

We waited, while one of the children ran to call Miss 
MacKaye from her office. The office-girl and I 
glanced at our wrist-watches. The Blue Babies 
stopped playing and gathered around us, all who could 
get fingerhold on our arms clinging to them, and the 
others making shift with a handful of skirt. They 
clung to us silently, free forefinger in their mouths, 


looking at the woman, and she looked at them with 
sombre eyes. She did not know which of them was 

Then Miss MacKaye appeared, sunshine on her 
golden head, and we were deserted. Out of the blue 
mass that ran to her like chickens to their mother, 
Miss MacKaye picked little Purity from Van and 
brought her to us. She was not a pretty child few 
of the children born on this side of the world during 
the Great War are pretty children. But when she 
found herself in Miss MacKaye's arms she smiled, and 
there was a dimple in her chin. The mother recognized 
her then, but made no move to take her. Each was 
awkward, shy of the other, and when the baby under 
stood that she was to go away with this woman she 
clung to Miss MacKaye's neck in silent desperation. 
No tenderness, coaxing, explanations, could move her; 
her arms were unwound by force, and she was taken 
away to the offices, stumbling and clinging to the of 
fice-girl's hand, looking now and then with startled eyes 
at the mother trudging stolidly beside her. 

In a few days, no doubt, she would pick up the life 
that had been interrupted when the mother fell, ex 
hausted, from the refugee lines. She would be again 
an Armenian child in an Armenian home, with nothing 
left of her two years with the Americans but the little 
clothes she would soon outgrow and the capital of 
health she had accumulated. She was only four years 
old. It will be a generation before one can know the 
effect on Armenian life of returning to it the forty 
thousand children who have spent their most impres- 


sionable years in being rescued from refugeeism by an 
American organization. 

The tiny gap which her going left among the Blue 
Babies was filled before Miss MacKaye could return 
to her office. As she went away the mother from Van 
passed another woman coming in, leading by the hand 
another four-year-old. She wanted to leave the child 
with the Americans. The child, she said, was her 
cousin's daughter; father and mother dead. If eyes 
and voice have ever betrayed untruth, she was lying. 
But she was lying desperately, as people lie for food 
when they are starving. The little girl was covered 
with dirt, with lice, with scabies and favus; her fright 
ened eyes looked at us from a face blue-white with 
hunger. The woman who held her hand said that she 
could not take care of her; her husband was dead, her 
village was in Turkey, she lived in the fields. In any 
case, she said, the child was not hers and she would 
not be bothered with it. 

Now there are strict rules in the Caucasus organi 
zation that no more children be taken in. Instead, 
they are being sent out to relatives as fast as relatives 
can be found. But Miss MacKaye, with fire in her 
blue, Scotch eyes, gave orders to take this one. "She 
will die if we don't, and I'm not here to condemn sick 
babies to death. Take her to the hospital and register 

The child, finding herself carried away, suddenly 
began to fight. Once she cried, "Mother!", and then 
she screamed like a little, wild animal in a trap. The 
woman who had turned away, stopped, whirled, ran 


after her, stopped again, turned, could not make her 
self go, and stood with her back to the screams that 
grew fainter and were suddenly cut off by the closed 
door of the hospital. 

She was taken to the offices to report, for the files, 
what she knew of the child. She gave the child's name 
and age, refused to tell anything about herself. "She 
isn't mine. She is my cousin's child," she said. "My 
cousin is dead, and his wife is dead; all the family is 
dead. She is an orphan. She is nothing to me, I do 
not want her. Why do you want my name? No, I 
have no children. They are all dead. No, I do not 
want to take her back. She is an orphan. I do not 
care what becomes of her." 

It is such incidents that made many Americans 
think that Armenians do not care for their children. 
The callous attitude of this childless aunt, recorded as 
she expressed it, is horrifying. And the mother of 
little Purity, leaving her children for a year in the 
orphanages, knowing where they were and making no 
effort to see them! Hundreds, thousands, of incidents 
like these pile up, wherever Americans work among the 
Armenians. But I think that if I had a child of my 
own as hungry and sick and ragged as Armenian chil 
dren are, and saw from outside the gates Miss Mac- 
Kaye's Blue Babies playing "Ring-around~a-Rosy," I 
would disown the child, too, in order to leave her there. 

In Ismid there was an American nurse who adopted 
an ugly, sick, little Armenian baby. The mother, who 
had other children, gave this one away as soon as the 


suggestion was made, saying carelessly, "Yes, keep 
her if you like. I don't want her." She was six months 
longer in Ismid before she was crowded on a refugee 
boat for Thrace; in all that time she made no effort 
to see the child, and she left without making any. 
We were shocked by this unnatural callousness; we 
felt that at least she might have inquired about the 
child. It seemed that the lowest, instinctive, animal 
emotions would have led her to do that much. 

Three years later I was rushing in an automobile 
from Piraeus to Athens, during those mad days when 
the refugees were pouring in from Smyrna, bringing 
small-pox, typhus, and all the problems of debusing, 
feeding and sheltering hundreds of thousands. Sud 
denly a woman darted fropi the side of the road into 
the path of our car, waving her arms and scream 
ing. Fortunately the car had good brakes and a 
lightning-quick chauffeur. Before we recovered from 
the jerk of its stopping, the woman was on the running- 
board, clutching at me. "Doctor, doctor! Suzanne? 
Is Suzanne all right?" I did not recognize her, "Don't 
you remember? I am the mother of Suzanne. Don't 
you remember my Suzanne? In Ismid?" 

She had been through the massacre and the burning 
of Smyrna, her second husband and two of her children, 
the boys, had been killed; she had with her the other 
one and the baby. All she asked was news of Suzanne, 
the child she had given away. Fortunately I was able 
to tell her that Suzanne was well and happy, with her 
adopted mother in the Caucasus. "God is good," she 
said. "In seven weeks she wiU be four years old Is 


she pretty now?" Very pretty, I said, with rosy cheeks 
and bright eyes and a lovely smile. 

That was all. She got down off the running-board, 
thanking me, and vanished again in the ebb and flow 
of refugee multitudes. 


IT was the autumn of 1922; I had been a year In 
the Caucasus. The first hopeless agony of the 
Armenians had passed, had become an endurable 
suffering which now began to be coloured with a little 
hope. The refugee problem was disappearing. There 
was a question of just how much general relief work 
would be needed in the coming winter, and a doubt 
as to the accuracy of government estimates. There 
fore an unofficial survey of conditions in the villages 
was being made. On one of these trips I was an idle 
observer, occupying a vacant place in the automobile 
and taking a few sunny, wind-swept hours as a pre 
scription for a point of view that was suffering from 
too long and too close attention to detail. 

We drove out from Alexandropol across the wide, 
rolling plateau that gave the name to Barley River. 
Behind us a quarter of the horizon's circle was blocked 
by the forty-mile-long base of Mount Algoz, which lies 
like the finny back of some huge, half-submerged sea 
monster between Alexandropol and Mount Ararat. 
The mountains on the Turkish side of the Arpa Chai 
curved in many-changing tones of blue toward the 
Black Sea in the west. All the rest of the world was 
waves of prairie, dipping and swelling to the far edge 



of the sky where, like waves about to break, they ran 
up into folds of tawny, blue-shadowed hills. 

The sky appears very large and clear from these 
Armenian uplands. The blueness of it, the white 
clouds that are always sailing in it, and the sweet, 
thin breezes give an impression of infinite airiness. 
Even the plains of Armenia seem to be lifted into the 
sky, and the gigantic mountains that border them are 
not oppressive masses that subdue the spirit, but seem 
rather to be protecting walls to keep one from rushing 
too far and falling over the rim of the world into bot 
tomless space. 

Five minutes from Alexandropol there was nothing 
to be seen but sky, mountains, and treeless prairie. 
The town had vanished in the folds of the deceptive 
plain that seemed so nearly level. Little winds ran 
over ripe, wild grass that rippled changing tones of 
greyish-green and golden brown. Coveys of some little 
bird resembling a partridge rose with whirring wings; 
blackbirds fluttered and rested and fluttered again; 
a rabbit bounded from the road and disappeared in 
three, long, quick leaps. As far as the eye could reach 
across the wide plains, nothing else was to be seen, 
save one American tractor dwarfed by distance, draw 
ing behind it across the golden land a thin black mark 
of ploughing. 

Miles upon miles of good land bare, wasted, while 
human beings were starving for the food it might be 
producing. Twenty, thirty miles we went across it, 
and in all that time we saw not one more moving 
thing. Then the road began to climb, looping among 


Mils as golden brown and as barren as the plain. Here 
we began to pass long caravans of ox-wagons, loaded 
with hay and grain. Over the edge of the car we 
looked down upon them, toiling upward on lower loops 
of the road as it dropped to a valley, or looking up 
we saw them moving slowly in file along a ridge that 
made the skyline. When we came upon them the 
drivers clambered down from their seats to cover the 
eyes of their oxen from the terrifying sight of an auto 
mobile. These drivers were not Armenians, but Rus 
sian Molokans, broad, sturdy men, fur-capped and tall- 
booted. Their auburn beards fell on blue peasants' 
blouses, and their small, blue eyes twinkled in stolid 
broad faces. 

The Russian map showed that we should find in 
these hills the Armenian village of Metz-Kaitti But 
when we reached it we found nothing but heaps of 
stones and blackened spots where the house-timbers 
had been burned in refugees' camp fires. If the people 
who fled from this village when the Turks came to 
Alexandropol had ever returned, they had not stayed 
to rebuild the ruins. 

Further on, a camping-place for the caravans. 
Sixty ox-teams rested there beside a stream, oxen lying 
unhitched by the wagons, or drinking in the shallows; 
men unloading the noon food for themselves and their 
beasts; a few red-cheeked women in full-gathered, 
brightly coloured skirts and white aprons and caps 
starting the samovars. These were Molokans, again. 
Their village, they said, was nine hours farther on 
but they were thinking of ox-team speed and an hour 


from the road. The first Armenian village was three 
hours beyond their own. 

In another half hour we had climbed the hills, and 
were racing across a windy, high plateau an immense 
terrace, lifted by the Mils perhaps two thousand feet 
above the Alexandropol plain. It, too, appeared un 
inhabited save for birds and rabbits. 

Looking at these thousands of acres of fertile, idle 
land, it was easy to understand Russia's spasmodic 
efforts to colonize the Caucasus, this point of the wedge 
which for a century she had been driving down toward 
Constantinople. Military conquest should have been 
followed by a flow of population, to consolidate the 
victories by a mass of peaceful human lives to sacrifice 
in the next war. The point of the wedge would be a 
hollow shell until this was done. 

Catherine of Russia recognized this, and she had 
seized upon the early-nineteenth-century religious con 
troversies in Wiirttemberg as a means of filling the 
empty Caucasus with her own German blood. Tens 
of thousands of German farmers, accepting her invita 
tion, had set out with their families toward these un 
inhabited acres of fertile soil which seemed to them 
an Eldorado. But Russia, large, loose, impractical, 
temperamental, had killed them by her carelessness 
while they tried to make the long journey, on foot and 
with ox-teams, across Bessarabia, around the northern 
shores of the Black Sea, and over the Caucasian ranges 
down to these plains. Tens of thousands began the 
journey; three years later, thousands reached the fron- 


tiers of Georgia; a few hundreds survived the first 
years of malaria, cold, hunger, and wars between 
Armenians, Georgians, and Tartars. Two German vil 
lages still remain on the Georgian-Armenian frontier. 

The next attempt to colonize the Caucasus was made 
with the Molokans and Doukhobors, the Quakers of 
Russia. Because they refused to worship ikons or to 
do military service, those who were not killed were sent 
here in chains, in long convict lines driven by Cos 
sacks with whips. Those who survived the year's jour 
ney were released in Armenia and left to work or 
starve. They worked, and are a prosperous, simple, 
conscientious, communistic people, numbering some 
thousands. But the land on which our eyes rested, if 
farmed like the Kansas plain, could still swallow a 
hundred villages and cry for more. 

Here and there on the foothills were small patches of 
cultivated land, crazy quilt patterns of light and dark 
soil; all the plain seemed left to wild hay. In the dis 
tance we saw three Armenian villages, low and rough, 
like a disease of the earth breaking through the stubble. 
After another hour that registered thirty miles on the 
speedometer we came to Kazanshi. 

It looked like a group of straw stacks, clustered on 
one side of the road. On the other side a tiny stone 
building, smaller than a straw stack, announced by its 
ladder-like wooden belfry that it was a church. Its 
roof was covered with sod, and the tall, ripe grasses 
waving on it seemed to be reclaiming the building for 
the prairie. The car stopped beside it, and looking 


between two straw stacks we saw a group of men stand 
ing by a hand-made fanning mill. Stepan Gregorian, 
the chief of the village, was turning its handle. 

When we waded knee-deep through the straw to his 
side he stopped his work to welcome us courteously. 
He was about forty years old, slow, deliberate, stoop- 
shouldered with the work that had gnarled his hands 
and weatherbeaten his face. His clothes had come 
from American old clothes bundles; except for his eyes, 
so black that the pupils were lost, he looked like any 
American farmer harassed by bad crops and mortgage. 

The fanning mill was as primitive as machine can be, 
but the men were watching it with the interest that 
American farmers once felt in a combined thresher. 
It did not belong to Kazanshi, they said; its owner 
took it from village to village and charged a tithe of 
the grain for its work. The grain was poured slowly 
into it; two vibrating screens husked the kernels, and 
a large fanwheel blew away the chaff. It was run by 
hand, but had obvious advantages over the common 
method of rubbing the grain between the hands and 
flinging it into the air by handfuls on a windy day. 

Stepan Gregorian was quite willing to show us his 
village, and sending a small boy for a key he tramped 
beside us among the straw stacks and the houses. It 
could not be said that we were on road or street; the 
houses had no more pattern in their arrangement than 
the straw stacks or the heaps of dried dung cakes that 
towered over the flat earthen roofs. The ground be 
tween them had been trodden grassless by bare feet and 
hoofs of sheep and oxen. There was no colour in the 


village, no trees, no flowers, no bright garments. A 
few ragged, barefooted women and half-naked children 
looked at us from the doorways that were like mouths 
of caves. 

We were taken at once to the church; the new one, 
for Stepan said the church by the road had not been 
used since his father's time. It was the only building 
entirely above the ground. Large, gaunt and ugly, it 
stood in an open space ringed with straw stacks. Be 
tween them the ground sloped gently to a little stream 
and the plain beyond. While we waited for Stepan 
to struggle with the lock of the church door we stood 
in the sunshine looking across half the village and out 
to the golden fields, where men and women were load 
ing ox carts with sheaves of barley. A few geese 
paddled in the stream, watched by a little girl. In 
three circles of straw stacks three teams of oxen were 
threshing the grain. Driven by women with cracking 
whips, they went patiently round and round, drawing 
wooden sledges over the scattered sheaves. Three half 
grown girls came up from the stream, carrying casks 
of water on their shoulders. A couple of Bolshevik 
soldiers went by, looking very smart in their new khaki 
uniforms, with the gnome-like peaked cap and the red 
star over their foreheads. Beside the black doorway 
of a house a woman stopped for a moment to look at 
us, then went on with her work. She was mixing with 
her hands a tubful of watered cow dung, and plaster 
ing handsful of it against the wall of her house^ to dry 
in the sun. She would not stop her work of storing up 
the winter's fuel because strange visitors had come. 


Let the chief attend to them; the life of the village 
went on undisturbed. 

Only a few unhealthy children and one old woman 
followed us into the church. An air of reverential 
respect settled upon them. The interior was bare and 
gloomy, and filled with a musty smell. Rain had 
streaked the whitewashed walls and dome. A few 
heaps of rags lay on the floor, for worshippers to kneel 
upon. Two iron candlesticks stood on the altar, and 
over them hung a gaudy, Italian lithograph of the 
Madonna and Child. Around the altar ril ran a series 
of small pictures, six inches by eight, depicting in crude 
colour and horrible frankness all the tortures suffered 
by Armenian saints. Stepan waited respectfully while 
we glanced at these and, embarrassed, turned away 
from their nai've obscenity, but they were not what 
he had brought us to see. He led us to a corner and 
showed us with a tragic gesture the blue and gilt frag 
ments of a plaster Virgin, lying on the floor. It was 
as though he showed us the murdered body of a son; 
the moment was too terrible for speech. Behind us the 
old woman and the children began to sob. 

After we had silently looked, Stepan led us away. 
"The Turks did that," he said, and the old woman, 
appealing with shaking fists toward the grimy dome 
while tears poured down her withered cheeks, called 
down upon the Turks most hideous curses. 

Outside in the sunshine again, we walked with 
Stepan toward his house. He said that when word 
came that the Turks had left Alexandropol all the 
people of Kazanshi fled northward into the Georgian 


mountains, leaving only a few very old men to guard 
their houses from other refugees. These old men had 
kept Kazanshi from the fate of the villages that were 
torn down to furnish fuel for camp fires. After a few 
weeks the Turks came, and broke the plaster Virgin. 
She had come all the way from Rome; she was very 
beautiful, Stepan said. His grief was sincere and deep. 
We asked whether the Turks had done anything else, 
and he replied, "Yes." They had driven away the 
cattle and sheep and taken the harvested grain. 

After a year, when the Turks left Alexandropol, the 
villagers followed the Russian armies back. Twelve 
hundred had gone away; nearly twelve hundred re 
turned. Some had died of hunger and exposure in the 
mountains, but babies had been born to fill out the 
number. This year in the village many more had died 
than during the year in the mountains. They had 
come back to famine. Also, three hundred refugees 
had come from Turkish Armenia; these had nothing, 
and of course the villagers had taken them into their 
homes and divided with them what little food they had. 
Then in the winter there had been fever. Typhus, 
brought by the refugees, I mentally commented. But 
Stepan said it was the will of God. 

This almost sublime resignation failed when he spoke 
of the approaching winter. Before spring, he said, the 
whole village would starve, and he placed the responsi 
bility for this fate upon the Soviet government. 

We had come to his house. Half-buried in the earth, 
like all the others, and heaped over with earth, it 
looked out at the golden valley through one small win- 


dow and a doorway set in a wall of stone cemented 
with mud and wooden cross-beams. The low doorway 
opened into the square hall of the cow stable. 

Stumping through it with the heavy unelastic tread 
of the tired farmer, Stepan opened the door of hewn 
boards that led to the living room. The floor was of 
earth, so many times moistened and pounded that it 
resembled cement. Two iron beds ? made up with white 
covers and feather pillows, almost filled the small space. 
There was a hand-woven rug on the whitewashed wall; 
a wooden chest under it. A little table covered with a 
crocheted doily just fitted beneath the window, between 
the beds, and there remained room for two rawhide- 
bottomed chairs. On the table lay the village tax-roll. 
Stepan's wife came in from the stable-room to wel 
come us and to apologize for her dress and for the 
house, which she said was untidy, though it wasn't. 
It was washday, she said, and she had been down at the 
stream all morning. Her dress was knitted of black 
and white wool in horizontal stripes, and she wore a 
black headkerchief over her smooth, greying hair. She 
was like any farmer's wife in America, hard-working, 
anxious, with lines of worry and of laughter around 
her eyes. 

Stepan Gregorian was desperate, turning the leaves 
of the tax-roll. He was chief of the village, he said, 
and the new government forced him to collect the taxes. 
It was impossible; he could not do it. His gnarled, 
stubby finger went painfully along the lines of writing, 
stopping at this name and that. Here was a man 
whose harvest was three poods of grain; the govern- 


ment demanded four from him, and when lie could 
not pay it, he was taken away to jail in Alexandropol. 
"He has a wife and four children. They have nothing 
to eat and come to me crying for- bread. What can I 
do? I cannot do anything. I must see them starve 
until they die. There will be no food in the village for 
any of us. Our whole harvest is fifty-five hundred 
poods of barley, and the government is taking forty-five 
hundred poods. They are making me take it from my 
own people, and what will be left in my village for my 
people to eat?" 

We said there must be some mistake; the govern 
ment was, after all, Armenian, and Armenians could 
not intend to starve their own people. This would be 
a madness destroying the government itself. Had 
Stepan explained the situation to the government? 

Yes, he had. He had made the two-day journey to 
Alexandropol, and had waited two days there to speak 
to the Executive Council. He had stood before them, 
and told them that his people could not pay the taxes, 
that the village would starve. But all they had said 
to him was, "Go back and collect the taxes." 

"I cannot pay my own tax," said Stepan. "This 
year I have harvested twenty poods of grain, and the 
government demands sixteen poods. Three poods I 
must have for seed next spring. That leaves one pood 
for my wife and children and myself to live on until 
another harvest. We must have fifteen poods at least, 
or die." 

The sixteen poods demanded by the government 
were not all taxes, however. On paper in the govern- 


ment offices the taxes were heavy enough, but not too 
great a burden to be borne, and as to the taxes, Stepan's 
figures agreed with those given us by the government. 
The tax was reckoned in proportion to return from the 

Stepan had planted three poods of seed and har 
vested twenty of grain & good crop for Armenia. His 
tax was therefore five poods, which would have left 
him the necessary fifteen poods on which to live. But 
he must also return to the government the three poods 
of seed it had lent him when he came back from 
Georgia to his empty granaries, and the Near East 
Relief had given him eight poods of corn-grits, im 
ported from America, on which to feed his family until 
the harvest. These eight poods must now be returned 
in grain. This made the sixteen poods to be subtracted 
from this year's crop, a proportion true for all the 
village. But, whether one called it tax or called it 
repaying a loan, the result, said Stepan, was the same- 

In his agonized eyes the government appeared a mon 
ster as cruel as the Turks. "In the winter," he said, 
"the snow comes down. All our houses are buried in 
snow, and we sit here in the dark. We cannot get to 
Alexandropol. The government will be in Alexan 
dropol, eating our grain. We will have nothing to eat. 
Even if we eat all our seed, and kill our cows and 
our sheep, there will not be enough. Before the spring 
comes, we will all die of hunger in the dark. The 
Bolsheviks say there is no God, and perhaps God has 
turned His face from the Armenians since the Bol 
sheviks came." 


We could only hold out the hope that perhaps this 
year, as before, the government would lend him seed 
and the Americans lend him food to feed Ms people 
until another harvest. The terror remained in Ms 
mind, darkly underlying his talk of other things, and 
rising always through it. 

The people of Kazanshi, he said, had been refugees 
from Turkey a hundred years ago. Apparently they 
had been in the northward drift of Armenians when 
Russia, by the treaty of Adrianople in 1828, relin 
quished Kars and Erzeroum which her armies had 
taken from Turkey. It was the story repeated during 
the Great War; the southward drive of Russian armies 
on their way to Constantinople, the rising of Arme 
nians to welcome them and to fight in their ranks, the 
withdrawal of the Russians, and massacre following 
on the heels of the fleeing Armenians. The great game 
of European imperialism, played with the little pawns 
of helpless races, had caused it to happen that Stepan 
Gregorian's grandfather was born in a ditch by the side 
of a road choked with desperate and dying refugees, 
instead of under the family roof in a village near Erze 
roum. Of Russia's need for a warm water port, or 
England's reasons for fighting the threatened break in 
her route to India, Stepan Gregorian knew nothing at 
all. He knew only that his grandfather had been born 
on a road south of Alexandropol, that the mother had 
been left there dead, and that the baby had been 
picked up by another woman whose own baby had 

Two hundred of the refugees travelled onward until 


they came to this plateau, where thousands of acres of 
uninhabited land awaited them. There they had met 
the winter, and dug shelters for themselves in the earth. 
In the spring those who were left alive had gone to 
work on the land. They had taken thirty-five hundred 
acres of land, which no other idea had ever occurred 
to them they owned in common. Every seven or 
twelve years, as families dwindled or increased, they 
held a village meeting and re-divided this land into 
portions allotted to each family. In a hundred years 
the two hundred villagers had become twelve hundred; 
Stepan Gregorian 7 s father had been chosen chief of 
them, and when he died his son had taken his place. 
Nothing else had happened save spring and summer 
and winter, birth and marriage and death until the 
Russian armies came marching south again in 1914. 

"I hope you will stay with us for supper," said 
Stepan, and when we said that we couldn't, a flush 
deepened the thick tan of his cheeks, as he realized 
that he had been speaking of starvation. He said with 
awkward dignity, "It is true that we have only poor 
and simple food, but as long as we have anything at 
all, it makes us happy to share it with a guest. I did 
not ask to be polite, I asked because we would like you 
to stay." 

We made him believe, I hope, that our reason for 
going was the lateness of the hour and the distance to 
Alexandropol. He trudged beside us among the straw 
stacks and piles of dried dung, past the half-buried 
front walls of houses that seemed to lift the earth to 
peer out at us, and back to the road where the car 


stood. The man who owned the fanning mill was still 
idle beside it, a half-grown boy was now enjoying the 
excitement of turning the fan-wheel's handle. 

"God go with you on a happy road/ 7 said Stepan 
Gregorian, standing knee-deep in the straw and look 
ing solemnly at our car. "In an hour it eats the dis 
tance that an ox-team travels in a day/' he commented 
as though to himself, "God go with you, and bless 
you for your kindness in visiting our village. 77 

Stepan Gregorian's haggard face, bent above the tax- 
rolls, remained a long time in my memory. Statistics 
of Armenia's actual condition, in that autumn of 1922, 
were of course unobtainable; they did not exist. 

Stepan's village and the twenty-seven other villages 
in the district of Alexandropol lay somewhere out of 
sight beyond the miles of rolling plain. From the low 
hills above the city one saw only the immense circle 
of treeless prairie and the three barrack-centres, some 
times gaunt and bleak on the yellow earth, sometimes 
alive with the swarming children, whose white clothes 
gave the effect of snow. All that Alexandropol knew 
of the villages was that the taxes were coming in, 
loaded on long lines of ox-wagons led by a military 
band and fluttering red flags. They looked like holi 
day processions, like spontaneous expressions of the 
joy with which the loyal peasants were bringing their 
harvest to the government. Alexandropol knew, too, 
that little groups of refugees from the villages were 
gathering in the streets, driven in by approaching 
winter. One morning a rumour ran about that the 


small city orphanage (of three thousand children) was 
taking in more, and at noon the orphanage manager 
came distraught to the Kazachy luncheon table; she 
had turned away that morning more than two hundred 
children, a mob of childish desperation besieging her 
office door. 

Yet the situation was immeasurably better than it 
had been a year ago. No one lay dead in the half- 
repaired streets, where twelve months earlier twenty 
and thirty bodies a day had been found on the piles 
of debris that choked the ways between wrecked build 
ings. Every morning two hundred men earned that 
day's bread for their families on the road that was 
being built by the Americans between Alexandropol 
and Seversky. The refugees were making shelters for 
themselves in the shells of abandoned buildings, and the 
clinic started for them reported no serious epidemics. 
Alexandropol would get through the winter with only a 
few score deaths from exhaustion and exposure. This, 
of course, did not answer the question of the villages. 

One day, in the course of business, I met the Presi 
dent of the Economic Council of the Alexandropol dis 
trict. Remembering Stepan Gregorian ? s despair when 
he told of his two-day journey to see this man, I looked 
at him with keen interest. He was a type of Armenian 
new to me. Thin, earnest, with deep-set eyes in which 
burned a flame, he reminded me of the young American 
Socialist of the nineties, the Christian Socialist whose 
gospel was Bellamy's Looking Backward. That early, 
and now almost forgotten Socialist movement in Amer 
ica produced hundreds of young men like this one, 


whose imaginations were stirred by a vision of the 
Golden Rule governing the world, young men who 
were poets and dreamers and thought themselves scien 
tists. Flaming with an ardent desire to save the world 
from poverty, unhappiness and crime, they threw them 
selves into the Socialist movement with a devotion that 
made them young ascetics. Admirable and ineffectual, 
they burned out their flame and disappeared. But it 
seemed that they, or their kind, had left an heir in this 
young President of the Economic Council, who had also 
inherited a thing they had never had power. 

He was the supreme authority in the Alexandropol 
district. There could be no question of his sincerity 
or devotion. He worked hard, ten to fourteen hours 
a day; he received a salary of eight dollars a month, 
and certainly did not spend more on his way of living; 
one glance at his face showed that he needed better 
food than he was eating. His office was a bare room, 
furnished with an unpainted, rough table and chairs. 
Maps and charts lined the walls, and on the windowsill 
was stacked a file of home-study courses from Cornell 
University. How they had found their way here I do 
not know. In the outer office, where Stepan Gregorian 
had sat waiting two days, a secretary was translating 
into Armenian a Cornell pamphlet on farm soils. 

When another outwardly joyful procession of peas 
ants bringing in their taxes passed beneath the win 
dows, I could not refrain from speaking of Kazanshi 
to the President of the Economic Council. I made the 
village's peril clear enough, and asked why the govern 
ment was pushing its peasants to such desperation. 


"What else can we do?" said the President, all the 
lines in his face deepening. "The harvest is not enough 
to feed the people. It is a choice; some must starve 
to death, or all must starve a little. This is a com 
munist government, a government of all the peasants 
and workers, for all the peasants and workers " 

Now it was certainly impossible to make me sympa 
thize with Communism, or believe that the government 
of Armenia was a government of the peasants. The 
man who was speaking was obviously neither a peasant 
nor controlled by peasants. Yet he seemed to believe 
what he was saying. 

But the sincere Communist they are not all sincere 
has two contradictory sides to his mind, one of im 
practical theory, and one of hard, concrete fact. The 
President turned quickly from one to the other. "The 
peasants of Kazanshi will either have to starve, or go 
to work and earn their grain back." 

"You mean, earn it twice?" 

"Exactly. These are not normal times; we confront 
an emergency." During the year 1922, he said, con 
ditions had greatly improved. Ninety thousand acres 
of land had been cultivated, yielding two million, three 
hundred and fifty-two thousand poods of grain. This 
had been possible only because the government had dis 
tributed seed and the Americans had distributed corn- 
grits to feed the people until harvest, so that they could 
plant the seed instead of eating it. This harvest, how 
ever, was only sixty per cent of the amount needed to 
feed the people and replant the fields. 

The government's policy was therefore to take nearly 


the whole crop, in taxes and payment of these loans ? 
so that the food-control would be in its hands* The 
grain would be redistributed in payment for work on 
roads and irrigation canals. Thus only those who 
needed it most would get it, and their labour would 
improve the country. For example, Alexandropol plain 
had a very slight rainfall, and needed irrigation. The 
government had begun the building of the Arpa Chai 
irrigation canal, eleven versts from Alexandropol; by 
arrangement with the Near East Relief, the grain taken 
in payment for the American grits was being paid out 
in wages to workers on this canal. Americans were 
supervising the work and the payment. In the spring 
the canal would be completed, and would irrigate 
thirty-five thousand acres of land. 

Cattle were not taxed, in order to encourage cattle 
raising. The expected result was not attained, because 
the high price of meat in Georgia caused the Armenian 
peasants to sell their calves for slaughter. Neverthe 
less, cattle had increased twenty-five per cent during 
the year. 

Another difficulty was that during the war the pro 
duction of wheat had dropped, the price having gone so 
high that the peasants did not keep seed. Before the 
war, sixty per cent of the cultivated land in the Alexan 
dropol district had produced wheat; now seventy per 
cent produced barley. Wheat was a better crop. The 
government was trying to get into its hands all the 
barley in Armenia, and would distribute none of it for 
seed. Russia was sending three million poods of wheat 
from the Crimea, to be distributed for seed. 


The impression left upon me by this interview was 
that the government was doing the best it could, under 
difficult conditions, and hampered by the fact that revo 
lutionists are human beings, full of all human faults, 
and that they have had no experience in the working 
world. Certainly the corn-grits from America, handled 
by Americans, were the deciding factor in the situa 
tion. The working out of the problem was hard on the 
Stepan Gregorians who, after toiling all summer to 
raise their crops, must now toil all winter breaking 
frozen soil with picks in order to eat their own grain. 
But at least they would not die of hunger. America 
would keep them alive through another year. 

The question of an American mandate for Armenia 
had long been forgotten, buried under the accumulat 
ing disappointments of the peace. Americans had been 
willing to fight only for an ideal, they had gone into 
the war with no careful preliminary treaties dividing 
prospective spoils, they had tried to make a peace 
founded on American principles; they had failed. 
After that failure, America continued to pour out her 
workers and her millions in an effort to save the Euro 
pean peoples from the consequences of their govern 
ments' cynical policies, and from the Atlantic to the 
Black Sea she was hated because, in the wrecking of 
Western civilization, she had suffered less than Europe. 
She was hated because she had the men and the mil 
lions that she was spending in charity. Still, she was 
expected to spend them, and when our government re- 


fused the offered burden of Armenia, we Americans in 
the Near East were sorry. 

Two years had shown, however, that when the Euro 
pean Powers slashed new frontiers for themselves 
across the map of Turkey they were cutting into a 
living nation. If America had taken the Armenian 
mandate, she would have been as deeply involved in 
the bloody peace, that is not a peace, as she had been 
involved in the war. American boys would have been 
killing and dying in Asia to defend Allied imperialistic 
policies, as they died in France to defend the Allies' 
lives. The fall of Marash had shown the wisdom of 
our government in going home when it did, though its 
going left the Armenians to agonies that do not bear 
thinking about. 

Now, in Alexandropol, one saw that Americans had 
taken the Armenian mandate which our government 
refused. At home, Americans are saying that our old, 
American liberty is disappearing. Socialists and labour 
leaders, the man who likes his glass of wine, the em 
ployer who likes unrestricted power, all complain that 
organizations of minorities are destroying the freedom 
of the individual. Everywhere in the world rapid 
changes are occurring; old social structures shaken by 
the Great War are recrystallizing in new patterns. In 
America individualism is disappearing in organization. 
But doesn't this mean simply that our old American 
freedom is expressing itself in new forms? Certainly, 
in no other world-state have individuals masses of 
individuals moved by a common desire created or- 


ganizatlons that have entered the field of International 
affairs, independently even of their own Foreign Of 
fices. Officially and wisely, America refused the Arme 
nian mandate. Actually, the Americans interested in 
Armenia had taken it. 

The American organization was doing everything 
that our government could have done for the Arme 
nians, except to defend them with the bodies of Ameri 
can soldiers. It was feeding the children and the 
refugees; in order to do that, it was developing the 
country, encouraging agriculture, building roads and 
irrigation canals and electric plants, establishing 
schools and hospitals, importing manufactured articles, 
buying native products. 

Directly or indirectly, it was entering the life of 
every Armenian, and the sum of its effect on Armenia 
cannot be reckoned in our lifetime. 


THREE hours by carriage from Alexandropol Is 
the Boys' Camp at Kafterloo. I wish that I 
could make Americans see that wide, rolling, 
barren plain which swallowed the wandering wagon- 
track the great bulk of Mount Algoz lying on the 
southern horizon, the faint blue mountain ranges of 
Turkey, the marvellous cloud-varied clearness of the 
Armenian sky. Our carriage went rattling over the 
swells of prairie on which the grass rippled silvery- 
golden in little winds. The sun was warm; a faint 
haze veiled the snow-peak of Mount Algoz, and the 
little hills that ran from its base to curve around the 
edge of the world before us were water colours of green 
and blue and rose. Quite suddenly, as we came to the 
crest of another prairie-swell, Kafterloo appeared be 
fore us, green with trees. 

This unexpectedness of the Armenian landscape, like 
that of the Armenian character, prepares one for any 
thing. We were ready to believe that any fold of the 
land concealed other surprising groves, but this is not 
true. Kafterloo is unique on the Alexandropol plateau 
because of its trees, and it was their charm of leaf and 
shade that had brought the Boys' Camp here. 

The Boys' Camp, like Miss MacKaye's Blue Babies, 



was an attempt to relieve the deadly spiritual barren 
ness of institutional life. There were conscientious 
men in the Near East Relief who opposed the appro 
priation for it, saying that American people did not 
want to pay for Armenian boys 7 vacations; contending, 
too, that only a few hundred boys could be benefited 
by it, while thousands were left out. But Mr. Ray 
Ogden, Y.M.C.A. trained, had fought successfully for 
his idea. Keeping life in the children's bodies was no 
more important than saving their souls alive, he said. 
Spiritual inspiration could not be measured out in thou 
sands of pounds, like food. Personal contact was nec 
essary. The Boys' Camp, by giving a few hundred 
boys fine ideals of manhood and of service, to take 
back to the crowded posts at Alexandropol, would be 
making the little leaven for the whole lump. "I'm try 
ing to educate leaders for the new Armenia," he said. 

Those future leaders were vigorously playing Ameri 
can games when we drove into the grove. In an instant 
they abandoned bars and vaulting poles and baseball 
diamond to come running to the carriage. In their 
white suits, with bare, sun-browned arms and legs and 
white teeth flashing in sunburned faces, they were like 
any crowd of American grammar-school boys. "Good 
morning!" they cried, taking off their caps, and some 
held the horses while others helped us out of the car 

In a few minutes they had unharnessed the horses 
and led them away, they had spread blankets in a 
shady spot for us and brought dripping jars from the 
spring, and at a word from Mr. Ogden they had gone 


back to their games. The grove was alive with, them 
and their voices ; and one marvelled at the rapidity 
with which they had externally at least become 
Americans. For the Armenian child in his own village 
never plays; he works, or sits in some airless hovel 
soberly talking. Like all boys in the Turkish Empire, 
he goes from helpless babyhood into grave manhood 
with no interval of being a boy. It is precisely this 
interval of being a boy, of developing physical and 
spiritual muscles and a healthy zest in living, which 
Armenia needs. 

They took to it awkwardly at first, Mr. Ogden said. 
It was necessary to make them play, to set baseball and 
football as tasks to be done. It was necessary, too, to 
teach them to use their muscles; their minds were alert 
and quick, but their bodies had never learned to trans 
late thought into action, and an Armenian boy was 
quite capable of watching a ball come through the air 
and hit him in the nose, well aware of what it was 
doing, but never moving to stop it. Within a week, 
however, their muscles began to co-ordinate with their 
minds, and thereafter they were mad for games and 
could not get enough of them. 

These boys came out, in groups of a hundred, to stay 
two weeks in camp. They played games all day long 
and in the evening by the camp fires Mr. Ogden talked 
to them, teaching them that religion should be used, 
should be put into their lives and expressed in action. 
He told them that Christ was not only a mystical figure, 
but that He became a living man on earth in order to 
show mankind how to live its life in this present world. 


Now the Armenian adoration of Christ is mystical. 
Christ is to them a Principle of Good which if wor 
shipped, will lead them to heaven, and He is wor 
shipped by symbols, such as kissing the stones of His 
churches. As a guide in daily conduct, the Armenian 
follows, not the precepts of Christ, but the ancient 
patriarchal traditions, loyalty to the family, respect for 
elders, hospitality, and hatred of the alien conquerors 
of Armenia. 

But these boys were eager to hear of Christ the 
Teacher, Mr. Ogden said. They understood the 
stories of His life, because they were set in familiar 
scenes. Their own fathers and mothers had gone riding 
on donkeys to pay taxes; they, too, had watched the 
fishermen on lake waters; they had run along with 
crowds following a speaker to a high place and had 
listened to his words spoken from the top of a hill; 
there were jars of wine at their own marriage feasts, 
and women bringing water from the village wells, and 
in their villages dogs licked the sores of beggars, and 
poor men ate the leavings from rich men's tables. The 
marvellous story of Christ was to them what it would 
be to us if He had come to our cities and given us 
the example of His perfect life lived among sky 
scrapers, automobiles, telephones and radio-systems. 
His human story enthralled and inspired them. 

Another way of reaching them was through their 
patriotism. "I tell them frankly what I have heard 
people say, that Armenians are a crafty, dishonest, 
lying people/' says Mr. Ogden. "It infuriates them. 
I've seen the whole hundred around a camp fire, so 


angry that they choked when they tried to speak. But 
if I say, Do you want me to stop? 7 they say, ( No, no! 
Go on!' I tell them that people are justified in having 
a low opinion of Armenians, because there are Arme 
nians who do lie and cheat and steal. They all know 
it. I say that as long as their own people disgrace 
them, they have no right to resent others having a 
bad opinion of them. It is up to them to clean their 
own house, if they want other people to take off their 
shoes when they come in. They can't have respect 
unless they deserve it. That isn't our affair, it's theirs. 
"The result is, that we've got here as fine a lot of 
boys as you can find in the world. Splendid boys! 
When you think what they have come through gen 
eration after generation of ancestors so oppressed that 
they had to scheme, and lie, and cheat, just to keep 
alive; then their own lives during the war, their people 
killed, and they, themselves, driven from refugee camp 
to refugee camp, hungry, living as best they could 
it's remarkable. There is probably not a boy here who 
has not stolen food and clothing, and lied and cheated 
to get them, and seen men killed for them. When you 
think of it, it is a wonder there is one decent Armenian 
left. Yet I haven't had a bit of trouble with these 
boys. My tent is full of things they ache to get their 
fingers on, lying there unguarded, but not a thing has 
been touched. They have a sense of honour, and 
they're using it. When you remember that in a few 
years these boys will be leaders of their people they're 
bound to be ; they are educated men already, by 
Armenian standards, and already they are leaders in 


tlie orphanages why, I think our work has been worth 
while, if it stopped to-morrow." 

No one can say, of course, what will be the effect on 
Armenia of those forty thousand men and women who 
will have spent their childhood in American orphan 
ages, workshops and schools. To-day they are four 
per cent of Armenia's population. 

We sat there on the blanket, spread under a tree, and 
watched the boys playing in the sunshine and shadows 
of the grove; some chinning themselves on the hand- 
bar, some practicing a running jump, a long line play 
ing leap-frog, and eighteen intent on a flying baseball. 
Who can predict what their future will be, in this un 
certain world still shaken and rumbling underground 
in the earthquake of war? Yet never anywhere in the 
world except in America has there long been peace, 
and all the good there is in the world has come from 
scattered seeds like these. 

Mr. Ogden was opening his mail (six weeks old), 
which we had brought out from Alexandropol. One 
of the letters was from a friend in California, enclosing 
a statement of the goods sent that year from the Pa 
cific coast to Armenia: Clothing, 850,294 pounds; flour, 
2,545,780 pounds; beans, 4,492,877 pounds; rice, 259,- 
320 pounds; dried fruits, 436,355 pounds; milk, 
175,508 pounds. 

"We'll have some of those beans for luncheon," 
said Mr. Ogden, and suddenly the Western world of 
stenographers' reports and way bills seemed to me 


more romantic than the East with its camel caravans 
and blue bead charms against the Evil Eye. Beans, 
grown in the valleys of the Sacramento and the San 
Joaquin, and sent half around the world to be eaten 
in the Boys' Camp at Kafterloo! Rice and dried fruits 
and flour, gifts from the American people to the anti 

Those boys, shouting to each other in Armenian 
while they played American games, had never seen 
and probably would never see a sky-scraper, a subway, 
a soda fountain, a traffic policeman; the world around 
them is a world of mountain, plain and sky, of veiled 
women at the village wells and shepherds watching 
their flocks by night, of laden donkeys trudging down 
to the low grey towns & world unchanged since Christ 
was born to it. But these boys are alive, and are the 
boys they are, because typewriters are clicking, trains 
running and ships being loaded, in businesslike, matter- 
of-fact America. 

In the cook-tent a tin pan clanged with a wooden 
spoon, and the boys went running to the wash-basins. 
In a few minutes the first grinning, wet-haired ones 
were in line with their tin pannikins, filing past the 
bean kettle and the piled chunks of bread. Some of 
them brought beans and bread and tin cups of coffee 
to us, and when all were served they stood in a long line 
under the trees, their food on the grass at their feet, 
and with bowed heads and folded arms repeated an 
Armenian prayer. Then clamour broke out again, ac 
companied by the clatter of spoons on tin. 


One of the boys seemed apart from the rest; he had 
not been playing with them, and now he ate quietly, 
speaking very little. His name was Hagop Kooyou- 
nian, Mr. Ogden said; a fine boy, but handicapped be 
cause he could not speak Armenian. He was learning 
rapidly, however. A very good Boy Scout. 

After we had eaten the California beans and the 
boys had washed the dishes, we talked to Hagop Koo- 
younian, who was embarrassed as could be. Nothing 
could remove his boyish self-consciousness. He stood 
at attention, after a snappy Scout salute, and answered 
questions briefly. 

He was an Armenian of Van five years old when 
the Turks began the massacre cf 1915. No; he had 
not been with the Armenians who fought the Turks. 
Yes; his family had all been killed. The Turks had 
come into the house and killed them. The Turks had 
taken him, with about five hundred other boys and 
girls. They had walked to the sea. The Turks had 
been good to them all the way, let them rest and gave 
them food and water. 

From the seashore they had been taken on a ship 
to Constantinople and put in a Turkish orphanage. 
He had been five years in the Turkish orphanage. 
The Turks beat him when he said he was Armenian. 
They said he was a Turk, that there were only Turks 
in Turkey. They tried to make him say that he was 
a Turk. Later, they forgot, and did not ask him any 
more what he was. 

Were the Turks kind to him then? 

They were kind enough, if you did not say that 


you were Armenian, lie replied. They gave all the 
children food and clothing. A hodja taught the boys 
to repeat the Koran in Arabic; that was the school. 

When he was ten years old, some of them were taken 
on the Black Sea to another Turkish orphanage in 
Trebizond. He heard that Van was not far away, so 
he watched for an opportunity, and escaped. Why? 
Because he was Armenian, and did not want to be a 

Did the other Armenian boys in the orphanage feel 
as he did? Some of them did; some of them, the 
youngest, did not care. You could call them a Turk, 
they would not fight you. 

Why would he not let them call him a Turk? He 
gave us a straight, dark look under lowered eyebrows, 
and said, "I am Armenian. I was five years old; I 
do not forget." 

What did he do after he ran away? He walked 
from Trebizond to Kars, following the camel caravans. 

We asked who had given him food during those 
weeks of walking, and then, seeing him flush beneath 
his tan, we knew he had stolen it, and hurried to ask 
how he had come from Kars. 

In Kars, he said, he learned from the other boys in 
the bazaars that the city was Turkish, but that there 
was an Armenian consul there, and that further north 
there was an Armenian country. So he went to the 
Armenian consul, who gave him a passport and a bag 
of food. Then he walked on, northward, and many 
months later he came to Alexandropol, where he had 
heard that there was a family from Van. That family 


did not know Mm, and lie could not speak Armenian, 
but when he told them in Turkish that he was an 
Armenian of Van they took him in. He lived with 
them for a year, but they did not have enough food. 
He tried to get work on the roads for the Americans, 
but they said he was too small, and then an American 
man took him into the orphanage in Polygon. 

It was a simple story. But there were and are many 
meanings in it. It shows from another angle the des 
perate policy of Turkey to leave alive no avowed Chris 
tians within Turkish boundaries; it shows again the 
Turkish eagerness to assimilate Armenian blood, and 
it shows the stubbornness resisting that assimilation. 
Looking at that twelve-year-old boy who, fed and cared 
for by Turks, had cherished since his fifth year a 
hatred of them, a boy who had forgotten his mother's 
language, but not his race, one saw that any solution 
of the problem inside Turkey was impossible. Bar 
barian rulers, sultans and Young Turks, had dug too 
deep the gulf between Turk and Armenian; no effort 
could bridge it now. If the Kemalists do not make 
that effort, it is perhaps because they know it could 
not succeed. Their policy, Turkey for the Turks, 
means that they can only massacre or deport their 
Christian populations. 



WE walked through the grove and across the 
little stream into the village of Kafterloo. 
There was the church, tall and gaunt with 
the square stone wall and round towers of all Arme 
nian churches; autumn leaves rustled on the stone 
steps and a bearded old goat stood there, solemnly 
watching us. Beyond the church, in another small, 
high building, was the new government hospital. Its 
two little rooms were whitewashed and clean the win 
dows, of course, tightly and immovably closed and 
there were six iron beds, one occupied by a malaria 
case. There were enough sheets and bedding, and a 
shipment of quinine had just come by pack-mule from 
Alexandropol, Kafterloo's share of Russia's gift of 
three hundred pounds of quinine to Armenia. The 
Armenian nurse in charge had been trained in an 
American hospital in Turkey, and she was almost tear 
fully proud of her little hospital. There were none in 
Russian Armenia before the war. 

From the steps of the hospital we looked across the 
roofs of Kafterloo and looked for some time before 
we realized that they were roofs, covered as they were 
with mounds of earth. It was like going underground 
to walk along the narrow winding streets between the 



stone walls of the burled houses. Here and there stone 
steps led to the roofs ; where hens and goats were walk- 
Ing and a few women sat pouring grain through the 
breezes. The chaff flew away like streams of bright* 
winged gnats in the sunshine. 

A child who had been watching for us ran with news 
of our coming, and two women were on the threshold 
of the priest's house when we reached it. They were 
the priest's wife, a matronly woman with mildly anx 
ious blue eyes under a black headkerchief, and her 
daughter, apple-cheeked and demure, her heavy hair 
in two black plaits. 

The priest's house, like that of all Armenian vil 
lagers, had a common entrance to stable and living- 
room a narrow, stone-walled passage, with an earthen 
floor. A few hens scratched in the straw of the empty 
cow-stall ; beside it, on the threshold of the living-room, 
the priest waited to welcome us. He was a stately 
figure, in sweeping robes of black wool. Between the 
well-combed luxuriance of long hair and patriarchal 
beard his eyes looked out at us keen eyes, intelligent 
and commanding. His hand, emerging from the wide 
sleeve to take ours, was slender, white and sensitive, 
the hand of a scholar. 

The narrow street beneath the earth-covered roofs 
had been like a trench; entering the house had been 
like entering a dug out. This cave-like effect of the 
passageway continued in the living room. The small 
windows were above the broad platform which, in 
Turkish style, ran across one end of the room, serving 
by night as bedstead for the family and by day as a 


seat for guests. A ray of sunlight came through the 
panes of glass, striking bright colours from the rugs 
that covered the platform; kneeling on them, one could 
have seen blue sky outside, but that glimpse was not 
for guests sitting properly in a row on the platform's 
edge, facing the dim room. Had we been Turkish or 
Armenian, we should have sat more comfortably upon 
the rugs, cross-legged, with cushions against the wall 
at our backs. Being American, we sat perforce with 
dangling feet, like school children attentive before our 
host, who occupied the one chair. 

The conversation was formal, and disturbed by the 
activities of the priest's wife and daughter, who brought 
a table, set it before us, covered it with a white cloth 
and with much coming and going deposited upon it so 
many dishes that there was not room for them all. The 
samovar must be removed to the platform on which 
we sat, and even the two women stood holding dainties 
for which no place could be made on the overcrowded 
cloth. The domestic discussion revealed the family 
relations, in which wife and daughter were submis 
sive to the authority of father and priest. Their rever 
ence for him combined the attitude of housekeepers 
to an employer, the respect of ignorant for the learned, 
and the unrebellious obedience of women in patriarchal 
households. So, no doubt, did the wives of the chil 
dren of Aaron the Levite serve their husbands, con 
tented with their lot, proud of the high positions of 
their lords who were priests of Jehovah. 

This sense of ancient tradition conveyed by their 
gestures and voices gave such solemnity to the breaking 


of bread that we could not appear our every-day selves, 
and in vain I reminded myself that we were merely 
taking tea with the pastor of a small town. 

The priest broke the bread for us, tearing the thin 
sheets with his fingers and giving us each a handful. 
With courteous gestures he urged us to eat, pressing 
upon us plates of shredded cheese made of sheep's 
milk, rubber-like cubes of goat's milk cheese, rolls of 
butter, strained honey, comb-honey, bowls of soured 
milk, preserved fruits, and seven kinds of small Ar 
menian cakes, all made, he said, by his daughter, whose 
placid peasant's face beamed at the word of implied 
praise. Mother and daughter refilled our glasses with 
tea, and handed us the dishes, while the priest shared 
the feast. 

There was no apology nor complaint in his manner 
of saying that this was poor fare for guests, and a 
poor house in which to receive us; dishes, spoons and 
nearly all his rugs had been taken by the Turks. He 
belonged in another village nearer the frontier, he said; 
he had come to Kaf terloo during the Turkish invasion 
of 1918, which did not touch this place. In 1920, dur 
ing the second invasion, the Turks had come to Kaf ter 
loo. He expressed no rancour against the Turks; their 
officers, he said, had been courteous to him and had not 
disturbed the church. Only one unpleasantness had 
occurred, when a certain young Turkish officer had 
desired an Armenian girl, whom the priest had aided 
to escape. Infuriated, the officer had demanded that 
the priest tell him where the girl could be found, and 
had threatened him with death. Fortunately, the of- 


ficer was suddenly recalled to military duty elsewhere. 

Then, one night, several Turkish soldiers had bat 
tered down the door of the house and demanded that 
the priest give them his treasure. He had no treasure, 
but they insisted that he had quantities of gold buried. 
They held him down on the floor and prepared to 
torture him with hot irons, but the fire burned so 
badly that they became impatient while waiting for the 
irons to heat, and decided to cut his throat and let it 
go at that. One had grasped his beard and drawn a 
knife, when three Turkish officers appeared, having 
come to call. They drove the terrified soldiers from 
the house, and themselves remained for some hours, 
discussing Persian poetry. It was a pleasure to talk 
with the Turkish officers, said the priest; in general, 
they were admirably intelligent and well-educated men. 

When the Turkish troops retreated, however, these 
same officers had come to make their polite farewells, 
and in leaving said, "We will take with us your rugs, 
as souvenirs of our very pleasant acquaintance." And 
they had taken every rug of value in the house. Being 
connoisseurs in rugs, they had been interested only in 
the cream of his collection, and had left him those on 
which we were sitting. 

As to the new government, the priest merely said 
that it had not molested him, nor his flock. Taxes were 
high, but crops had been good at Kafterloo. Much 
depended upon the personality of the tax-collector in 
each village. The tax-collector in Kafterloo had been 
an ignorant, but not an unkind man, he had not op 
pressed the people. That week, however, he had been 


removed from his post. He had been selling part of 
the collected grain, putting the money in his pocket, 
and making up the weight to the government by filling 
the sacks with gravel. This naive and infantile graft 
had naturally been discovered; he was now under 
arrest and would probably be executed. A new man 
would take his place next week. It might be that 
he would be both more honest and more oppressive 
than his predecessor. 

While we were talking, a cow had come down the 
passageway, gazed at us for a moment from the 
threshold, and then turned into her own room, from 
which the hens fled with protesting cackles. It was 
milking time, and rising, we said farewell to the priest, 
who asked us to express to America the gratitude of 
Kafterloo. These phrases of thanks, so often and sin 
cerely repeated by Armenians, become almost a for 
mula of all greetings and farewells. For an instant 
they bridge the distance between this priest's house in 
Kafterloo and the many little American parsonages 
from which so much help has come to the Armenians. 

The priest remained, a figure of patriarchal dignity, 
on the threshold of the living room; wife and daughter 
accompanied us to the street door. The women of 
the village were coming down from the rooftops, carry 
ing their winnowed grain; a few sheep went by, fol 
lowing the leader's tinkling bell; a girl came up from 
the river with a tall jar of water balanced on her 
shoulder. We climbed stone steps to the trodden earth 
of the roofs, deserted now, and the life of the village 
disappeared, leaving only a sweep of rolling prairie. 


the grove on the banks of the stream, and the bulk of 
snow-crowned Algoz, gigantic against the sky. 

But I felt that that Armenian life remained, buried 
in the earth at our feet, obstinate as a grass-root, tena 
cious and surviving. Wars of Medes and Persians, of 
Romans and Greeks, of Turks and Russians, waves of 
empires and revolutions, pass over it and leave it essen 
tially unchanged, essentially occupied only with eternal 
things, with seed-time and harvest, birth and mar 
riage and death, the rhythms of immortality on earth. 

The real life of the million Armenians of Soviet 
Armenia is in these villages. The traveller and the 
busy American see almost nothing of it. The impres 
sion they have of it is of something furtive, concealed, 
like the life of wild animals. The villages are in 
visible, in the folds of the immense and apparently 
empty plateaus. In the villages, life retreats still fur 
ther underground. 

One would like to know what that life is, to those 
who live it. It is possible only to imagine it. Auto 
mobiles are, for the energetic American, the only pos 
sible transportation in a country crossed by only one 
railroad which was built for Russian military purposes, 
with complete disregard of cities or centres of popu 
lation. In a day, an automobile rushes from Alexan- 
dropol across the plains, over mountain ranges, through 
the Karakles Pass, and down the valley of Big Demon 
River to DjaJal-Oghly. Leaving an American break 
fast table, one arrives at an American dinner table. 
Between them are one hundred and twenty miles of 


excellent road, of incomparable views of mountain and 
plain, a few glimpses of toiling strings of ox-wagons 
and a camp of a hundred workmen repairing a sixty- 
foot stone wall that, at a curve of a mountain torrent, 
protects the railroad above from being washed away. 

But to the Armenian, what a different country must 
appear. For him, distances are magnified. Seven days 
at least he would count, from Alexandropol to Djalal- 
Oghly; seven days of slow jogging in his seat on the 
yoke between the necks of his oxen; seven nights of 
making late camp, in a circle of wagons drawn around 
a camp fire, a stockade-camp such as American pio 
neers built on the plains to protect them from attack 
by Indians. Seven nights of taking his turn on watch, 
with rifle ready to raise the alarm of brigands. Seven 
dawns that would find him already on the road again, 
jogging slowly, ox-wagon in front of him and ox-wagon 

Two weeks it would take, to make the trip from 
Alexandropol to Djalal-Oghly and to come back; longer 
time than it costs the villager of New England to visit 
California. No larger proportion of Armenians than 
of Americans normally make such a journey. Their 
nearest metropolis a large city of perhaps twenty- 
five thousand persons remains for them something 
imagined but not important, as San Francisco is to 
the shopkeeper of a village on the Hudson. Armenia, 
this bit of land in the Caucasus, smaller than most 
American states, stretches out around them to the 
edge of their world. 

And when terror drives them out across it, floods of 


human beings fleeing a monstrous pursuing horror, they 
go over the edge of all known things into strange lands 
of strange peoples who do not speak their language. 
They live for a time, for years, perhaps, as primitive 
man lived, amid mountains and forests, surrounded by 
the unknown. They wander, hungry, exhausted and 
sick, dying and giving birth, driven this way and that, 
until at last they can come circling back to their vil 

The centre of the world is their village. What must 
it be, to think of home as a stone-walled underground 
cave, to count wealth in terms of sheep driven in 
through the house door at night, and of the height of 
piled dung on the roof? To know God as the Great 
Power, swift to anger, who Is placated by kissing the 
cornerstones of His Church? To think of Govern 
ment, dimly, as another alien but earthly power, that 
suddenly intrudes on life to take the harvested grain 
or to carry away sons to fight its mysterious battles 
for its own mysterious purposes? To know that the 
God of the Turks, and of their cousins the Tartars who 
live in the next village, is an enemy of our God, and 
that the Turks and the Tartars kill our men and steal 
our women, have always done so, always will do so? 
Then what must it be, to hear that far away is a place 
called America, where there is no war ; where all men 
live together in peace, and all men are rich beyond 
dreams of avarice; a land where all the peoples wor 
ship one God, a land whence come pale-eyed men and 
women who speak no known language, and who from 
their unimaginable riches give food and clothing to all? 


No; no American can fully understand the Arme 
nian. There is no American so poor or so ignorant 
that he is not immeasurably richer, wiser and more 
powerful than the Armenian peasant. There are very 
few Americans, however wealthy and cultured, who 
match in culture and taste the children of the Arme 
nians who were rich before the war. Somewhere be 
tween these extremes is the American, too busy and 
too practical to know the ancient Persian poets, to 
quote Homer or Heine, to recognize at a glance the 
history, the mystic meanings and the value of a rug 
woven long ago in Kashmir, and too rich to know the 
meaning of darkness, cold and hunger, too happy in 
his place in history to accept the barbarities of war and 
massacre as normal things. Yet Americans are bring 
ing up the children who will be the next generation of 

I think of Djalal-Oghly, the little town on the brink 
of Big Demon canyon, as a place more dramatic even 
than Marash or Ismid. The landscape itself is dra 
matic. The automobile runs across interminable miles 
of high plateau, rimmed at the edge of the world by 
blue, snow-tipped mountains. For an hour one sees 
ahead the village of Djalal-Oghly, white amid trees. 
The purring engine brings it closer, until one sees the 
Russian church, and market-place and village foun 
tain, the beginning of a street of white cottages and 
little red-brick houses that might have been brought 
here from New England. One minute more should end 
the journey, and hats are straightened, hair tucked up, 


and purse In hand, when the solid earth suddenly opens 
at the front wheels. There is the unsuspected chasm 
of Big Demon River, which rushes foaming four hun 
dred feet below. 

The road goes painfully into the depths, eight sharp 
hair-pin turns, and caravans of toiling ox-wagons are 
looped against the canyon walls. The sky grows nar 
rower overhead. Djalal-Oghly has disappeared. Half 
way down, at the edge of the cliff, a man sits beside 
the body of an ox that, dying, has left him ruined, his 
only wealth the wagon that he cannot move. Above 
his bowed figure the rock walls of the canyon seem 
savage; the river roars relentlessly in the depths it has 
made. An old primitive terror stirs in one; Nature is 
huge, cruel and careless, and man so weak. 

Nearly an hour later, with a last violent struggle, the 
engine carries us over the edge of the chasm to upper 
earth and sunshine again, and we feel that we have 
escaped a trap. 

The human drama lies before us. Djalal-Oghly is a 
typical Caucasian Armenian town, in that it is half- 
Russian, half-Armenian, the two parts as distinct as 
though a continent separated them. For a century 
these two peoples have lived side by side, sharing the 
same streets, the same markets, going to different 
churches. Never has Armenian married Russian, or 
Russian taken an Armenian to wife. To these two 
towns in one, is added the American. Four thousand 
Armenian and Russian orphans live in it. 

On the porches of their houses Armenian women are 
grinding corn between two stones. By the village foun- 


tain, while the trickle from the stone fills the pottery 
jars, Russian women are spinning wool from distaff to 
dangling spindle. In the large white buildings under 
the trees of the American grounds, the four thousand 
children are working in modern industrial schools, with 
knitting machines, compressed air, and steel tools. The 
agricultural class is out on the ten thousand-acre farm 
with its tractors and model stables; the gMs in the 
nurse's training school are learning English and modern 
medicine; the Boy Scouts are doing setting-up exercises 
on the drill-ground. This American invasion is di 
rected by Mr. Newman of Oregon, assisted by Mrs. 
Newman of Washington, Miss Stockton of Ohio, Mr. 
Nelson of New York, Mr. Parker of Texas, Mr. 
Rankin of Kansas. Down in the chasm of Big Demon 
River Mr. Bowers of Pennsylvania is building, with 
refugee labour, an electric-lighting and power plant 
for the village of Djalal-Oghly. 

Yet there are persons who think that the days of 
romance ended when the plumes were sheared from 
the helmet of the last mailed knight. 


FIVE minutes from Djalal-Oghly, as the eagles 
fly, is the village of Berd. The word Berd 
means in Armenian, fort, and the village of 
Berd really is a fort. We reached it after an hour of 
driving across the prairie, and by this time the Arme 
nian landscape had so taught us to expect the unex 
pected that we were hardly surprised when we found 
ourselves again on the brink of the chasm of Big 
Demon River. Another crack in the earth joined it 
here, and on the tip of the promontory between the 
two canyons was the village. It was reached by a neck 
of land hardly wide enough for our carriage. After 
creeping along this, we were confronted by high, 
double stone walls and a tunnel gateway unchanged 
since it was built, some two thousand years ago. 

It was unguarded, and we drove through it, as Alice 
went through the Looking Glass, into some unknown 
period of time. Beside us, against the walls, were 
the grim towers of the castle fort, and before us the 
huddle of peasants' huts. An old woman who was 
gathering cow dung in her apron looked up and greeted 
us, "Welcome, my ladies, welcome to the fort world!" 
A few yards farther on we met several men going to 
the field with scythes, and they stopped, and bowed, 
and asked us what we desired. 



One of them came to show us the village. It was 
built, he said, "before we knew Christ/' by a certain 
David the Landless. David whose name would sug 
gest one of the children of Abraham, or more probably 
a descendant of a relative who did not go down to 
Egypt was landless because, when his father died, 
his older brothers took his portion. David fled north 
ward among the savage tribes who were ancestors of 
the Georgians of to-day, and having collected among 
them a sufficient force, he returned with arms and 
caused this fort to be built. From it, he waged suc 
cessful war against his brothers, and took not only 
his portion of his father's land, but theirs, and their 
lives. Thereafter he lived prosperously in Berd, no 
doubt with frequent small wars to occupy the time 
and more frequent descents upon wealthy travellers 
passing by. 

The fort, grim as it looks from one side, proves from 
the other side to be nothing but a fragment of wall 
with a few steps of stone stairs still projecting into the 
air. Clambering over the fallen sides of it, we were 
led to a sunken place, floored with marble that still 
showed traces of beautiful polishing, and surrounded 
by bits of carved marble that had once been the base 
of circular walls. There had been steps going down 
into a rounded deeper place, now partly filled with 
earth. This, our guide said, had been the Emperor's 
baths. What Emperor? The last Emperor of Ar 
menia, who had for a time held Berd as a stronghold 
while the Persian and the Byzantine Empires were 
overwhelming the Armenian Empire in the fifth cen- 


tury. From Berd this last Emperor finally fled west 
ward and died on an island that has since become the 
Cite of Paris. 

Leaving these baths, we were led over the edge of 
the cliff, and precariously downward on a narrow trail 
that was dizzy above the depths of the canyon. Some 
six hundred feet below us Big Demon River growled 
and worried boulders with its white teeth, and fearing 
that our guide might intend us to make the descent, 
we protested, clinging to projections of the cliff with 
nervous fingers, while little stones slipped under our 
feet and went downward with sickening silence. But 
he was taking us only under a boulder that overhung 
the hardly visible trail. On its other side there was a 
gap between two strata of the cliff, and when we had 
unwillingly crawled through it, our guide struck fire 
from flint and lighted a bit of tow. The flame re 
vealed the smoke-blackened walls of a large low cave. 
"Here, one hundred people," said he. 

We crawled out, and following him farther came to 
a boulder which concealed the entrance to another cave. 
Our noses told us, even before the flicker of light 
showed bits of wool clinging to the rocks, that this 
was a sheepfold. "Two hundred sheep," said he, wish 
ing us to come stooping to admire the size of this 
cavern. But we had seen enough; we backed out, and 
insisted on climbing to steadier footing. He was dis 
appointed, he had just begun to show us innumerable 
similar refuges. For cattle and for sheep, for food 
and for people, he said, there were caves all along both 
sides of Big Demon canyon. He pointed out, across 


the chasm, the almost hidden entrances. The cliffs 
were honey-combed with them. Nine thousand Arme 
nians, two thousand sheep, nine hundred oxen, had 
lived there all the months of 1920 that the Turks were 
in Armenia, he said. They ate cold food, went out 
only at night, and muzzled their animals so that they 
would be silent. The Turks never found them. 

This would explain the strange legend encountered 
now and then among American relief workers, that 
after the Turkish retreat of 1920 meadows and foot 
hills became populated overnight with unaccountable 
herds and flocks that until then had been invisible. 

On the edge of the cliff, watching our ascent, stood 
an Armenian woman. She was hale and hearty, ap 
parently about forty years old. Her bright eyes looked 
humorously at us from beneath her black kerchief, 
and her fingers knitted a sock so rapidly that the strand 
of wool ran from its hidden place in the folds of her 
black and grey garments and sped in a white streak 
around her silver belt. It was the belt that attracted 
us. Apparently before the war every one in Armenia 
wore silver belts; the Near East Relief has chests 
upon chests of them, taken in pledge for loans of food 
and seeds; the peasants are beginning now to redeem 
them. But this was the most beautifully wrought one 
that we had seen. We could not help commenting on 
its delicate workmanship of chased links and black 
enamel, we could not take our eyes from it, and at last 
we offered to buy it. 

She laughed good naturedly. "We women are not 
like you," she answered. "We work hard. We bring 


all our water from the spring down there," and she 
gestured over the edge of the chasm. "We bring it up 
in jars on our backs, and often we are very tired. But 
we have silver belts. When you make the spring run 
up the cliffs into our fort-world, then I will sell my 

As we picked our careful way along the rough trails 
that are the streets of this mediaeval village, we were 
joined by a lad about twelve years old, whom the 
woman said was her son. He wore a sheepskin coat 
and carried a staff; evidently a shepherd boy, and Berd ; 
it seemed, was a village of shepherds. 

The houses have certainly never changed in pattern 
since David the Landless built this fort in pagan times, 
and shepherds first gathered under the protection of 
its walls. If Wells is right in thinking that all races 
of men were once nomads, such houses were doubtless 
the first that Armenians built when the beginning of 
civilization dawned for them. Little shelters of rock 
laid without mortar, built more for the flocks than for 
the people who sleep in one corner of them. All the 
life of the houses was in the open air, where within 
crumbling walls of courtyards women were busy about 
the baking-pits or carding wool or winnowing grain or 
spinning thread on a twirling spindle. 

We came first to the old church. No one knew 
how old it was. From earliest known times the Arme 
nians were famous builders. They set together so 
marvellously the great hewn rocks, and their unsup 
ported wide domes were such wonders, that it was said 
of them that they glued their buildings together with 


white of egg. This little church certainly numbered 
its years in tens of centuries, but it still stood as solidly 
as when it was first built. Only the doors were gone, 
the floor piled with wood stored here out of the rains, 
and the ledges were resting-places for multitudes of 
pigeons that made much fluttering overhead. It was 
a little church, not in Armenian style, but septangular, 
perhaps twelve feet in diameter and twenty feet high. 
Two pillars in each wall crossed in arches overhead, 
deep niches were between them, and on walls and 
pillars, arches and dome, were deeply cut crosses. 
Three kinds of crosses, Byzantine, Catholic, and the 
kind we call Maltese; all cut haphazard without pat 
tern. We thought this church probably a pagan 
temple, redeemed when Armenia became Christian by 
the carving of these crosses. If there had been an 
altar, there was no trace of it, no indication of where 
It might have been. 

These things we saw, peering gingerly through the 
doorways because of the frantically flapping wings 
of the pigeons, and then we went to see the new church. 
It could not have been more than a thousand years 
old. It was the typical Armenian church architecture, 
which seems ugly at first (but you grow to like its 
crudeness) ; square-angled walls outlining a cross on 
the ground, and round towers and domes. Inside, the 
square centre of the cross is roofed by a great un 
supported dome, and the four ends of the cross are 
entered through wide arches. The walls are of stone, 
unornamented. In one of the longer ends of the cross 
is the altar, and there is no other furniture. But the 


light and shade of the arches on the grey stone walls 
make the place beautiful. 

In this old church the altar was no more than a 
stone reading-stand, with a scrap of gold- and silver- 
embroidered cloth falling to pieces with age upon it. 
On the cloth, two Bibles. How old they were I do not 
know, but certainly the museums of London or New 
York would be glad to have them. They were bound 
in cowhide, with corners and plates of metal, wrought 
in naive figures of angels and saints. The leaves were 
parchment, covered with Armenian writing which 
dated the book at no earlier than the fourth century, 
for it was just as the Armenian Empire fell that the 
Armenian alphabet was discovered and they were 
voluminously illustrated in colours still bright. 

Our guide turned over the leaves as one well ac 
customed to finding his way among them, showing us 
this picture and that, pointing out that every page had 
a different border of fruits and flowers and figures of 
angels, men and animals. Even the shepherd boy had 
a favourite page to display. 

Andl was glad that these Bibles are where they are, 
in this bare mildewy church in the village of Berd, 
where shepherds enjoyed their beauty. Even though 
the leaves were falling apart, and a corner gnawed by 
mice, I thought them better here than carefully pre 
served in a glass case in the Metropolitan Museum or 
the Louvre. 

Out in the sunshine again, we pursued our intention 
of becoming better acquainted with the humorous-eyed 
woman who knitted without stopping. It was difficult, 


for she had little to say about anything. "You must 
remember that our women are not educated/' said the 
man. "What happens in other parts of the world is 
unknown to them. They know only about the wars 
with the Turks." As to the wars with the Turks, she 
said only that they had always been and would always 
be, and that as long as the caves were hidden the 
people of Berd would be safe. But her husband had 
been killed by the Turks in 1920. He had been caught 
before he could reach the caves, because he had gone 
to bring in his flocks, and it happened that they were 
far away. 

Then suddenly she upset us by saying that she had 
seen many wars with Turks (she meant Tartars) dur 
ing her eighty years on earth. We looked at her, and 
did not believe it. Her hair was greying, true, but the 
braids that fell below her kerchief were thick, and 
blacker than grey. There were her teeth all showing 
when she smiled, and no more wrinkles on her face 
than forty years should have. And her son! "He is 
twelve years old, and you are his mother?" 

"Yes/ 7 she said, as Sarah the wife of Abraham might 
have done. "The Lord God has blessed the loneliness 
of my latter years." She had five sons, she said, and 
this youngest was the only one left in her house; all 
the others were married and grandfathers. Four 
daughters she mentioned when asked. They were mar 
ried, too, she said, and many of their daughters also. 
Still we did not believe that she was eighty years old, 
but the man beside her confirmed it. 

"I do not know when she was born," he said, "but 


she was married and a grandmother before I entered 
this world." 

They urged us to stay and eat with them,, but we 
declined not because we feared unpalatable food, but 
that we knew Armenian hospitality would beggar the 
village in order to force us to eat too much. Our 
luncheon was in our carriage, and we could eat it on 
the sunny prairie. The man and the woman and the 
shepherd boy followed us through the arched tunnel 
under the towers of the gate, to call after us, "Happy 
road!' 5 


WE sat in an open sunny space there was no 
other on all those miles of plateau from 
which, in the sunshine of noon, the moun 
tains had retreated into vaguely piled blueness and 
ate our sandwiches. At a little distance the two mules 
hitched to the carriage struggled with the difficulties 
of nose-bags, and the tall-hatted coachman who had 
inherited his headgear from some American alderman, 
devoured many square feet of Armenian bread and 
swallowed boiled eggs. 

Three women, searching the ground for something 
they continually stooped to get, slowly came toward 
us across the prairie. When they reached us they 
stopped to give polite greeting. They were gathering 
dung for winter fuel. Each carried on her back a 
filled sack and in her hands one partly filled, and they 
were clothed in neatly sewed, clean patches. Each had 
between her eyebrows a tattoo mark in blue, so we 
knew that they were Armenians from Turkey who had 
once been slaves to an Arab master. 

Yes, they said; from Erzeroum. They had come 
from that distant Armenian city with the retreat of 
the demoralized Russian armies in 1918. Three years 
they had been on the road, walking and camping 



with other refugees, until they reached this place, 
where they had found the son of one of them. He 
had been separated from his mother one night in the 
mountains when a sudden alarm of Turks had scat 
tered the camp into the darkness, and she had thought 
him killed by the Turks. He was a tinsmith, and now 
they all lived with him in a village hidden somewhere 
on the plain. He worked at his trade, and the village 
people paid him with food, so that he earned enough 
for them all to eat. The women kept his house, and 
gathered dung. They were doing very well, they said; 
already the pile upon the roof was larger than the 
house, and they would be warm in the winter storms. 

We gave them the rest of our luncheon and they 
wrapped it carefully in a handkerchief and one of them 
put it in her bosom. Then they went on, stooped under 
their burdens and searching the ground with their eyes. 

"There you have fifteen hundred years of Armenian 
history," said Suzanne. "The life of my people. 
Always building up what is always torn down, always 
starting again in a new place. I think you don't like 
Armenians. But do you realize that what is bad in us 
comes from the life we've been forced to lead, and 
that what is good in us has survived in spite of it?" 

Suzanne was one of the Near East Relief inter 
preters, and it was loyalty to her people that made her 
say "us," for she had no doubt whatever that we liked 
her. We liked her tremendously. Nor was it true 
that we disliked Armenians. It was more that there 
was something lacking in our liking them. Somehow 
our minds could never quite meet theirs; there was 


always something oblique there a starting from differ 
ent angles. Somehow we never got quite close to them, 
not even to Suzanne. 

Clever, and pretty, and charmingly dressed she had 
a way with clothes, and from merest scraps of old 
things given her she evolved suits and blouses and hats 
that might have been made by French fingers and 
much better educated than we, and liking us as much, 
I'm sure, as we liked her, still there was that indefinable 
thing in her or in us which kept us from really be 
ing comrades. She had more in common with those 
refugee women whom she had never seen before than 
she had with us. In that few moments of chance talk 
with the dung-gajtherers the gulf appeared, and we 
were on one side of it, and she with them on the other. 

"Were you ever a refugee, Suzanne?' 7 I asked. 

"Oh, yes," she said casually. "Twice. I was in 
Baku when the Turks took it, and I was in Kars when 
it fell. Let me see about fourteen months, in all, I 
was a refugee." 

She looked so pretty and so untroubled, sitting there 
in her smart blue suit and clever hat, her whole appear 
ance was so much that of any American girl in her 
early twenties, who has never had anything to worry 
about, that her words seemed incredible. 

"What was it like, when the Turks came to Baku?" 
I asked. The whole idle afternoon was before us. 
"Do you mind talking about it?" 

"Why, no, not at all. Though you won't I mean, I 
can't really tell you what it was like. You must live 
through things like that, to understand them. 


"I'd just come home from school in Tiflis. That is, 
I had come to my uncle's house in Baku. My own 
people were Turkish Armenian, you know. My father 
was very modern in his ideas, he wanted his daughters 
to have the best European education. My sister and 
I were in the university in Tiflis when the European 
war began. My father had sent us there because we 
had relatives in Tiflis the family had branches and 
banks all through Armenia, from Baku to Aleppo. 
After we'd finished the university, we were going to 
Europe for post-graduate work. 

"Well, then the war Of course we couldn't get 
back, from Russia to Turkey. My father was killed 
by the Turks in 1915, and you know what they did, 
in the deportations to the women and children. Our 
little sisters may still be alive, in some Turkish house 
we don't know we've never heard 

"My sister and I went on with our university work 
in Tiflis all through the war. There was nothing else 
we could do. My sister had a year of nurse's training 
after she finished the university; she's a year older 
than I. Then we went to our uncle's house in Baku. 
We were going to be teachers. Of course nothing was 
left of our father's property, and we didn't want to 
be dependent on our uncle; that was the fault of 
father's modern ideas, our uncle said. 

"We came to his house in 1918, just before the 
Turks attacked Baku. The fighting went on for some 
time, but we did not have much news of it. Then 
we began to hear the firing, and lots of wounded were 
coming in. My sister went to work in the hospital, 


taking care of them. But every one said that the 
Turks could not take the city, that we were winning 
battle after battle. We were not really worried until 
one day oh, God will punish them! one day, with 
out warning us, our Armenian leaders suddenly left the 

"I was down town shopping matching some silks, 
I remember and I saw a friend of my uncle's in a car 
riage with his family, and the carriage full of baggage. 
I called to them and asked them where they were 
going. He laughed, and said he was going to Persia 
on business and taking the others for the trip. But I 
was worried. I told the coachman to drive straight 
home, and there was my uncle, and he said our armies 
were defeated and the Turks were coming. My aunt 
and cousins were crying, the servants were all run 
ning away, my uncle was trying to get some things 
packed and bundle up his papers securities and 
things, and money. I went to the hospital to get my 

"I had to walk. All the servants were gone except 
the coachman that stayed to drive my uncle's family 
to the boat. There was no one to go with me, and 
my uncle commanded me not to go, but there was no 
one else to go for my sister and bring her to the boat. 
I had never been alone in the street before, of course, 
and but American girls do walk alone, dojft they? 
You would not know how I felt. Besides, the streets 
were full of people hurrying to the water-front, and 
merchants were putting down their shutters. I could 
not find a carriage that was not loaded down with 


goods, going to the boats, and on the sidewalks people 
were dragging things trunks on ropes, and bedding- 

"Will you believe, when I got to the hospital, my 
sister wouldn't leave? She said it was her duty to stay 
with her patients. It was a senseless thing what good 
could she do, staying? She couldn't protect them. 
Anyway, it wasn't my duty to stay, that wouldn't do 
any good, either. Things went around in my mind, 
that way. I told her we'd be killed for nothing, and 
there was the boat, and my uncle expecting us. I 
remember I actually shook her; I said she had to 
come. But she wouldn't, and so somehow, I don't 
know why I didn't go either. 

"We stayed in the hospital, and I helped her work. 
She showed me what to do. It was two days before 
the Turks came in. But all the boats got away that 
first morning. There were thousands of people on the 
water-front, and more going all the time. The only 
way out of Baku was by the Caspian, no trains were 
running. And there were no boats on the Caspian, 
but some sort of crazy feeling made everybody go down 
and stay close by the water. All the important people 
had got away. If only they'd told us the truth, almost 
everybody could have gone. There were plenty of 
boats going and coming from Persia during all the 
weeks of fighting. 

"Then the Turks came in, and began the looting and 
killing, and my sister and I ran away. We just simply 
ran out of Baku, on to the desert, and kept on going 
along the railroad tracks in the direction of Tiflis. 


There were not very many of us in our group, I sup 
pose two or three hundred. 

"We had brought some bread in a handkerchief, and 
my sister had a little money. It was all we had. Of 
course our clothes were perfectly good at first, clean 
and whole. We walked three days and nights, all the 
time, just sitting down for a few minutes now and 
then. After that we went more slowly. We were tired, 
and some days we just sat, and didn't walk at all. It's 
strange what a difference it makes in your mind, being 
a refugee. Sleeping in your clothes, on the sand and 
we hadn't brought a comb. That's the worst, when 
you are used to being clean not having a place to 
wash, or a toothbrush, and your hair gets so so awful. 
You become quite a different sort of person, in your 
mind, I mean. 

"I told you that you would not understand, you 
couldn't. But being a refugee does things to you 
Sometimes I hear Americans talking about Armenians 
stealing things. 'Here we come to help the Armenians/ 
they say, 'and we have to guard our goods to keep 
them from being stolen. Armenians are all thieves/ 
they say. Sometimes I have a mean feeling; I wish the 
people who say that were refugees for a while. They 
would understand, then. Things anything you can 
imagine, a handkerchief, a pin get to be so important. 
You can't dream how much they mean, until you have 
to live without them for days and weeks and months. 
Your character goes to pieces, too; you become just an 
animal. You live like an animal, and eat like an ani 
mal, and you can't even keep yourself clean and 


healthy, as the animals do. Human beings are so help 
less without things." 

Lounging there comfortably, after our excellent 
luncheon, it was indeed almost impossible to imagine 
the degradation of refugeeism, passionately as she tried 
to express it to us. It was difficult, too, to realize that 
she had experienced it, however slightly. She looked 
so thoroughly the dainty, well-bred girl she was. And 
what fineness in the way she told the story, without 
personal emphasis. Daughter of a rich Armenian fam 
ily, she must have spent her girlhood in a physical and 
intellectual luxury such as few Americans know, yet 
she had fallen through all the social strata into depths 
below the lowest. She had become a refugee, without 
family, friends, food or shelter, tramping the roads of 
Azerbaijan and sleeping in ditches. She who had never 
left her walled gardens without at least one servant in 
attendance. But she did not think of herself in telling 
the story; she tried to make us understand her people. 
We must ask her to be personal again. 

"We got finally to the Georgian border. We didn't 
have passports. But we speak Georgian so well that 
when we said we were Georgians nobody doubted it. 
We made up a story about how we came v there and 
why we had no passports, and of course, we had a 
little money for bribes we got permission to go to 
Tiflis. There we found relatives. My sister went to 
work in the hospital, and I got a place in the high 
school, teaching." 

"Why did you leave it to go to Kars? You'd have 
been safe in Tiflis." 


"I did stay a year in Tiflis. But we don't like the 
Georgians, you know. They aren't our. own people. 
We've always been enemies." 

Now it was actually in prehistoric times that Arme 
nians and Georgians first met, and they have lived to 
gether ever since, as mixed as the races that make 
America. Yet is it quite true that they are enemies; 
neither has been able to kill all the males of the other, 
so neither has disappeared, and nothing has ever sug 
gested to them that peoples of different races, living 
in the same territory, are not necessarily mortal 

"Then we had our own Republic, you know. We 
thought it would last. There were the Fourteen Points 
we thought they were the basis of the Peace. We 
thought the Allies would keep their promises and help 
us. We'd only started; but we had good armies on the 
Georgian frontier and the Azerbaijan frontier, and we 
were already fighting the Turks oh, we were so hope 
ful in those days! Of course I wanted to be helping. 
Especially with the schools, because you know Russia 
had never allowed us to have more than two grades 
in Armenian schools. There was an Armenian high 
school started in Kars, and I was given an opportunity 
to teach in it, so of course I took it. My brother was 
in prison there, too, and I thought I might be allowed 
to see him, or at least to send him food." 

"In prison? Your brother?" 

"Yes. He's the only brother we have left. The 
Turks killed the other five. He was just a youngster, 
only sixteen, when the war began in Europe. He was 


in the Russian university in Baku. He was young, 
and easily influenced, I suppose, and of course uni 
versity students you know how idealistic they are, 
and always revolutionists. And the war cut him off 
from our father and from all of us anyway, he became 
a Bolshevik. When the Bolsheviks succeeded in Petro- 
grad, we couldn't do anything with him. He was just 
delirious with happiness; he thought all the troubles 
in the world were ended. Then we found out that he 
had been a member of the Communist party for sev 
eral years, and you know the Party discipline. He 
was ordered to Erivan for propaganda work. When 
it came to the choice, he gave up his family for the 
Party. Our uncle was head of the family, since my 
father was killed, and he cut my brother out of it for 
ever, disowned him, and read the burial service for 
him. It was terrible. We were never to speak of him 
or recognize him again. 

"My sister never did, nor any one but myself. I 
don't know he was so young, and the only brother 
we have left. I just couldn't. Everything is changed, 
anyway, since the war. All the old things are break 
ing up, even our patriarchal families. Perhaps it is 
wrong of me, perhaps there is something wicked and 
rebellious in me, too, as there was in him. Anyway, 
I meant to see him when I went to Kars. He had been 
circulating Communist propaganda and the Armenian 
government had caught him and he was sentenced to 
be shot. I kept thinking about how sweet he had 
been when he was a baby. I used to play with him 
when he was little, and sometimes the nurses let me 


take care of him out in our garden in the afternoons." 

"Did they let you see him?" we asked, after a pause. 

"No, I didn't see him. When I got to Kars, all the 
political prisoners had been taken away. We did not 
know where, but we thought probably they had been 
executed. Everything was in confusion, for our army 
had been defeated, and the Turks were coming to 
attack Kars. No one dreamed that it would fall; it 
was an impregnable fortress. We had huge supplies of 
munitions and plenty of food. We weren't afraid, but 
we were excited. 

"I organized a sort of Red Cross for our soldiers. 
It was hard to interest the women, for Armenian women 
have never done such things, and they thought it was 
not proper. But I talked, and scolded, and shamed 
and browbeat them. When our men were fighting and 
dying, it did seem that Armenian women might be 
making bandages and collecting medicines and ciga 
rettes for them. Almost every day a few of us went 
up to the fort to take something to the soldiers and 
to do what we could for the wounded. We wore our 
veils and were careful to be very dignified, not to smile 
or laugh at all, and in a little while the soldiers under 
stood and were quite grateful to us. That was how I 
learned that we could not hold Kars." 

"Why not?" 

"The soldiers said the Turks would take it. They 
were all discouraged and discontented. Lots of them 
were Bolshevists not real members of the Party, but 
grumbling about fighting, asking what was the use of 
war, and what quarrel did Armenian peasants have 


with Turkish peasants things like that. Frightful 
things. They should have been shot down right there. 
But the officers were really, secretly, afraid to do any 
thing to them. 

"Then one day I went with three other women to 
distribute cigarettes in the fortress, and the soldiers 
said the Turks were coming. They could not fight 
them, they said, because the artillery was trained on 
the Kagizman road. They had expected the Turks to 
come that way, but instead they were coming by the 
Sarikamish road. So even if they fired the guns, they 
would not hit the Turks." 

"Couldn't they change their aim?" 

"I asked them that, but they said it would take three 
days to figure out the new range and to move the guns. 
They said it was no use to try; the Turks would be 
there before they could do it." 

This seems to me to be one of the most amazing 
things I ever heard of in warfare. Of course I know 
nothing whatever about artillery. But I tell it as 
Suzanne got it from the soldiers in the impregnable 
fortress of Kars. 

"Was that what happened?" 

"I don't know. I went back to my work. The 
school was open, though we didn't get much done. 
The guns began to fire that afternoon, and they kept 
firing for twenty-four hours. , I was standing in the 
gateway of the school, listening to them, when I saw 
one of the officers driving past driving the carriage 
himself, on the coachman's seat. His wife was in the 
carriage, and it was loaded with trunks and packages, 


and just as it went past me a hatbox fell off. His wife 
stood up and said, 'Don't stop! Don't stop ! ' I called, 
'Are the Turks coming?' The officer looked back at 
me and shouted, 'No, no! Kars is impregnable. Don't 
be alarmed/ 

"He was too far away then to say anything more. 
I just looked at that hatbox lying there in the street 
and went back into the school to get my hat and coat 
and make up a bundle. That time I remembered to 
take a comb and toothbrush, and underwear, and stock 
ings. Before I got them together, crowds of parents 
were coming after their children. I thought I ought 
to do something, but everybody was hysterical, no one 
could listen, the place was like a mad house. The 
guns had stopped firing. I thought we'd all have to 
go northward into Georgia again, for even if we held 
Alexandropol, the country would be unprotected. The 
trip would take a couple of months at least; it's hun 
dreds of miles. When we got to the frontier, Georgia 
might be fighting Armenia. I must have money to 
bribe the officials at the frontier, to get a Georgian pass 
port again. 

"I'd left my money with a friend, so I went to her 
house. It was quite a large family, but the only man 
left in it was this woman's brother. They were pack 
ing their things; he had gone to try to get a carriage. 
She was very fat, so fat that she could hardly move, 
and she begged me to help her. So I helped her pack, 
and all the time she cried and begged me not to leave 
her, to go with her. But it took such a long time; 
even when her brother came with a carriage they 


couldn't decide anything, or seem to get anything done. 
The streets were full of people crying that the Turks 
were coming. At last I left. Perhaps I should have 
stayed with her. But they had filled the carriage with 
goods. And she was so fat, she couldn't really have 
got away on her feet." 

"Did you ever hear what became of her?" 

"Oh, yes. When the Turks were really right there, 
they unloaded the carriage, and she got away in it. 
Her brother stayed. He hid as much of the goods as 
he could, and barricaded himself in the house. But 
the Turks broke down the doors and killed him. His 
body was found there later, the house wrecked and 
almost everything in it gone. But he had had time to 
bury one box of money and jewels where the Turks 
had not found it. Afterward, when peace was signed 
with the Turks, she went back to Kars and got it. 
The last I heard of her, she was living in Kars and 
keeping a pastry shop. I don't think there has been 
a massacre since; she is probably there yet" 

"And where did you go?" 

"From the cries in the streets, I decided the Turks 
would catch us before we could get away. So I thought 
I would go to one of the American hospitals. I think 
there were three of them Near East Relief hospitals, 
or perhaps they were orphanages. At least, American 
houses, under the American flag. They were in the 
little valley, between the town and the fortress. I went 
in that direction, and I saw an American woman on 
horseback in the crowd. She was bringing in a convoy 
of ox-carts, with supplies. The people were so frantic, 


there were nearly pulling her to pieces, and she stood 
up in the stirrups and slashed at them with her whip, 
and kept on shouting orders to the men on the wagons. 
She was magnificent. You American women are really 
wonderful. You don't ever lose your heads, as we do, 
do you? You don't seem to have emotions. I suppose 
because you control them so well." 

Perhaps. How can any one say when self-control 
is stronger than emotions, whether it is because the will 
is strong or because the emotions are weak? It is one 
of those interracial questions that can hardly be an 
swered, because no one person can ever really know 
both sides. 

"I couldn't get to the American houses. Our soldiers 
were coming down the hill on the other side of the 
valley, and on the bridge they were meeting the crowds 
that were trying to get to the American flags. We 
could see the flags. But I don't know whether any 
one was .being killed in that jam on the bridge, but it 
looked as though they were, and the Turkish flag was 
on the fortress. So thousands of us turned and ran* 
back into the town. 

"There was an Armenian hospital there. I knew 
the woman in charge of it, so when I saw it I pounded 
on the gate until she let me in. She had a great many 
wounded Armenian soldiers there, and said she would 
not leave them. We knew the Turks would come. We 
kept going around in the wards, so that the men would 
see that we hadn't left them. 

"Nothing happened for a long time. Of course we 
heard a great deal of shooting outside. Sometime in 


the night she had an idea. I speak French and Eng 
lish; you see, and she said that when the Turks came, 
I was to pretend that I was an American. Then they 
would not dare do anything to us or the patients. I 
said I would try it, though I was afraid they wouldn't 
believe me. I don't look like an American, and be 
sides, at that time my English wasn't as good as it is 
now. I knew that a Turk who knew English might 
recognize my Armenian accent. It was quite notice 
able then. So I kept practicing the words I might have 
to use, saying them over and over to get the accent 

"It was about ten o'clock next morning when we 
heard a pounding and shouting at the gate. We looked 
out, behind the shutters, and it was a naked man 
entirely naked and covered with blood, beating at our 
gate and calling out in Armenian. We would not have 
dared let him in. But we did not have to decide, be 
cause we had hardly seen him when some Turkish 
soldiers came running around the corner and shot him. 
Then they stood and looked at the hospital. Of course 
our shutters were all closed. In a few minutes a Turk 
ish officer came, and he looked too. He couldn't see 
us, but we felt he was looking straight at us, and we 
ran away from the window. Then we heard him 
pounding at the gates and shouting to us to open them. 

"My friend said I must go out and speak to him. 
She dressed me in a white apron, and put a cloth with 
a Red Cross on my head. I don't remember that I was 
frightened; I was just stupefied, and all I could do was 
to listen to the Turks shouting. She had to move my 


arms as though I were a baby. The officer's voice was 
so cold angry and cold. 

"My friend shook me and slapped my face as hard 
as she could. She said if I did not go out, we would 
all be killed anyway. That did not make any impres 
sion on me, I didn't even remember it until afterward. 
Then she opened the shutters, and I stepped out on 
the balcony and said in French, What do you want? 
What do you mean, making all that noise? Don't you 
know there are sick people here?' 

"The officer looked up at me. He looked surprised. 
He asked me who I was, and I said, 'I am the Ameri 
can in charge of this hospital.' I tried to speak French 
with an American accent. I think God must have had 
us especially in His care that day, for that Turk did 
not speak English. He apologized in French for trou 
bling me, but he said he must inspect the hospital. 

"The officer was perfectly perfectly what is that 
word? meek. He was perfectly meek. I have often 
thought since, it's just your air of expecting to be 
obeyed that gives you Americans all your power out 
here. Why, if I had really been an American woman, 
I would have been just as much alone as I was. Not 
a man in the place, except the sick patients. No one 
to protect me, really. Not even America, for America 
has never killed anybody when missionaries have been 
killed. It was just assuming that no one would dare 
to hurt me that protected me, just as it would have 
protected an American. Just because I gave orders, 
as though I must be obeyed, the orders were obeyed. 

"I went down and opened the gate, and told the 


officer that three men were enough for him to bring in. 
I said I would not have more dirty feet spoiling my 
clean floors. He took three men, and ordered the 
others back, and I fastened the gates again. Then 
we took the officer through the hospital, and I went 
down with him to the gates and locked them behind 
him. He didn't do anything but ask if we could take 
in some wounded Turks. I said he would have to ask 
the American committee, as all our beds were full, but 
I thought it could be arranged. 

"Of course we knew that as soon as the three days' 
looting was over, and the Turkish officers took control 
again, the hospital would be safe. Especially if the 
Turks had spoken about it to the Americans. And 
that was just what happened." 

"But I thought you said you were a refugee from 
Kars. Do you mean that was being a refugee?" 

"Goodness, no! Why, that why, I was as clean as 
I am now, and sleeping under a roof. It was later 
I was a refugee." 

"But why? Why didn't you stay in Kars if every 
thing was safe?" 

"I did stay, more than a week. Then you see, I 
had a girl friend, an Armenian, about my own age. 
When it was safe to go on the streets again, I went to 
find her. Her family owned a sweetmeat shop,, very 
nice, very modern like the Tiflis shops. They were 
not exactly rich, but they had plenty of money, all they 
could use, and all the girls were well educated. When 
I went to look for them of course I went to the shop; 
I knew the Turks would have taken their house, I 


found my friend and her mother living in the little 
back room behind the shop. Her father and brothers 
had got away safely. They were very happy about 
that, and happy to see me, and they gave me tea, and 
the Turk who had taken their shop sent us in some 
bread and cakes. 

"It was so nice that in a day or two I went to see 
them again. I had to go through the shop to get to 
their room, and of course I went quickly and held my 
veil across my face, but I thought the old Turk looked 
at me strangely. And this time my friend wasn't the 
same. I thought she seemed to be hiding some thought. 
But her mother made a great fuss over me, and petted 
me, and made me promise to come again the next day. 

"The next day, when I went through the shop, there 
was a Turkish officer sitting there, drinking coffee, and 
he watched me. And my friend's mother was so de 
monstrative, kissing me, and praising me, saying how 
beautiful I was, and taking down my hair to admire 
it I don't know maybe it was all my imagination 
but my friend looked pale. She said she had a head 
ache. Anyway when her mother spoke about what a 
rich husband I should have, and how with my talents 
and my education and my good looks I should marry 
some high person and have jewels and servants again 

"I didn't stay long. I put up my hair and doubled 
my veil across my face, and left. When I came 
through the shop, the officer was still there, and I felt 
that he and the old Turk had been talking about me. 
You know how you feel such things. So I went straight 
to the hospital and took my bundle and went quickly 


out with the refugees that were still going northward. 

"Of course there may have been nothing in it. I 
hate to think that any Armenian woman still, when 
you are desperate enough and of course she had to 
think of her own daughter. She might even have per 
suaded herself that it would be better for me to marry 
a rich Turk than to be a refugee. They were there 
in that little back room, and they had nothing to eat 
but what the old Turk gave them. And again, there 
may have been nothing in it at all except my fancy. 
But I had that feeling 

"Anyway, I thought it best to get out of Kars very 
quickly. So I did." 

I cannot express the poignancy and the unreality, 
together, of this story as Suzanne told it. Here for 
more than a week we had been talking every day to 
her, a pretty, well-bred girl, interested in hats and en 
joying funny incidents, and suddenly she opened this 
vista of memories, all strange and dark and terrible. 
And how she took for granted things that our minds 
stumble over. 

"I had to walk alone in the street," she said, as 
though no girl of twenty had ever walked alone in a 
day-lighted street. Yet, "Of course when the three 
days of looting and killing ended," she said, as we 
might say, "after luncheon." And "this time I had 
a comb and toothbrush," she said, quite cheerfully. 

"I kept them all tied in the handkerchief with my 
money, inside my blouse. So it wasn't as bad as the 
first time, and there was plenty of water in the moun 
tains, too. But we were much longer on the road. It 


was months before we reached Alexandropol. You see ; 
the Turks were advancing, and there were skirmishing 
parties of them all through the country; we had to 
avoid those, and kept going miles out of our way." 

"What did you have to eat?" 

"Some people started with a little food, and some 
of them, sometimes, divided it. Then there were ox 
carts, at first and we ate the oxen. There weren't 
many people left in the country, because first the 
Armenians had driven out the Tartars, and now the 
Turks were driving out the Armenians. There was 
some stock., a few sheep and cattle and hens that had 
been left. There were birds. It wasn't the season for 
bird's eggs. There were some rabbits. And in some 
villages there was grain. 

"Yes, we tore down the houses. We burned every 
scrap of wood we could find. We cut down grapevines, 
olive trees, anything. It was so cold. Even when we 
had fires, we couldn't all get close to them, and it was 
so cold the rest of us didn't sleep. I had a blanket 
when I started, but it was stolen. I don't blame who 
ever took it. I'd have stolen one myself if I could 
have. I don't think I would have stolen it from a baby 
or a sick person, but I would have from any one else. 

"Of course there were times when we didn't eat at 
all. Other days when we found pine-cones you know, 
the nuts in them. And acorns. They're bitter, but 
you're glad to get them. 

"Lots of people died, of course, along the roads." 

The shadows in her eyes, even to us who saw 
them from outside, were painful. We skipped to the 


end of the story. "How did you meet the Americans?" 
"I was in one of the refugee camps in Alexandropol. 
There were about two thousand in that camp, and every 
day an American man came and gave us bread. When 
I had bread for a few days I began to think again, and 
I asked myself why I was sitting there when there was 
work to do? I thought I might help the man. So 
next day when I was going past him in the line, taking 
my piece of bread, I asked him if I couldn't help. He 
was so surprised. 'Hello! You speak English ? ? he 
said. 'Mission school? American orphan?^ 

"I told him no, I was a graduate of the Tiflis uni 
versity, and that I knew French and German and Rus 
sian and Georgian and Tartar and Turkish and Arme 
nian, of course and that if I could help him I would 
be glad, because I didn't like being idle all day. Yet 
there was nothing else to do, unless I could help the 
Americans. So he told me to go up to the offices, and 
I did, and they gave me a job as interpreter. They'd 
just got a shower-bath installed, and they let me have a 
bath a warm bath, with soap, and towels. And this 
is a funny thing after all those months that I hadn't 
shed one tear, I stood in that warm water and cried 
like a baby. It seemed so wonderful 

"They gave me some things to wear, too. And a 
pair of the long-pointed shoes that Americans wear I 
was so funny! I used to look down at myself and 
laugh and laugh. I would have loved to see myself in 
a mirror. But one of the girls in the workrooms lent 
me shears and a needle and gave me yards of thread, 
and I sewed at night, so in a little while I was quite 


presentable. It's surprising what talents you have 
without knowing it. I wouldn't have supposed that I 
could ever sew a seam. But now I'm a complete dress 
maker and milliner. Don't you think this is a cunning 
hat? I made it myself." 

It was a cunning hat. It also seemed to end the 
story, and as the mules had long been restless and 
the coachman reproachful-eyed, and the sun was get 
ting near the western mountains, we rose and prepared 
to return to Djalal-Oghly. We went careening across 
the empty plateau for some time before I remembered 
one thing Suzanne had left untold. 

"Did you ever hear of your brother again?" 
"Oh, yes. He's chief of the department of political 
education in Erivan. I had a letter from him only two 
months ago, and before that I had heard that he was 
alive. He was sentenced to death, but while the Turks 
were coming in he escaped. He was hiding in the 
mountains, in Zangazour, when I got to Alexandropol. 
When the Russian armies went to Erivan he came down 
and joined them, and when they took Erivan they made 
him a member of the government. He is studying Eng 
lish; he wrote to me in English. He said he was study 
ing at night, trying to make up for not having been 
able to finish the university. But he said he is working 
so hard that he is too tired at night to keep awake. 
He wouldn't give up his work, not even for an educa 
tion. He's so enthusiastic about the new government. 
I'm sorry; he's so young and he was such an intelli 
gent boy. I think he would have been a great man 
if it hadn't been for the European War." 


A T the foot of Mount Ararat, "Mother of the 
A% World/' all Armenia becomes comprehensible. 
Mount Ararat has seen from the beginning the 
life of Armenia, coming out of the mists in which his 
tory's memory begins, crossing all remembered cen 
turies, and going on indomitably into the future. The 
vastness and silence of the mountain reduces all human 
things to their proportions in the universe, and the 
short tale of mankind's life on earth becomes a chapter 
in the story of Mount Ararat. 

The great mountain lifts its two peaks above the im 
mense plateaus that are the birthplace of the Tigris 
and the Euphrates. Northward it looks across the 
valley of the Araxes at the huge lower bulk of Algoz 
that hides Alexandropol and the mountains of Georgia. 
On the banks of the Araxes there is a crescent of green 
trees and flat-roofed houses; Erivan. Twenty miles 
nearer the source of the river, grim fortress-walls, 
church towers and ancient gates guard the Katholicos 
in Etchmiadzin. But both these places Erivan, capi 
tal of Armenia when the wolf was suckling Romulus in 
the wild forests of Italy, and Etchmiadzin, where Saint 
Gregory founded the Armenian church sixteen hundred 
years ago vanish in the sweep of the plain. The 



rhythm of rolling land is like the waves of the sea, 
caught up and flung to the sky in the two white peaks 
of Ararat, and land and mountain and sky are vast and 
indifferent as they were when the first Armenians came 
furtively, armed with stone and wooden spear, to find 
the undiscovered sources of the Euphrates in the far 
mysterious West. 

They were an adventurous people, those first Arme 
nians whom Mount Ararat saw emerging from the un 
known sources of the white man's life on earth. Their 
brother tribes had turned southward, to the fertile 
plains of India; still others stayed contented with the 
discovery of Persia. The Armenians pushed westward, 
higher and still higher, climbing the enormous moun 
tain-walls of the world, and fighting as they came with 
wild animals and wilder tribes of men. 

Some of these wild peoples were less warlike, like 
the Iroquois tribes of America; these were Semitic 
peoples, living in the valley of the Euphrates. The 
Armenians subdued them. But the mountain tribes 
Georgians and Kurds and a score of others were 
savage and fierce as Hurons. They fought so des 
perately the invaders of their mountain peaks that, 
though slowly and inch by inch for unnumbered cen 
turies the Armenians drove them back, they are still 
unsubdued and warlike, still holding here and there a 
mountain peak or a range, and still nourishing their 
hatred of the white men who took their country from 
them. Thus, in the deportations of 1915, it was these 
tribes that descended on the masses of helpless Arme 
nian women and children whom the Turks were aim- 


lessly driving about, and slaked their prehistoric 
hatreds in blood. 

No one knows when the Armenians, moving west 
ward, first began this war for the plateau of the river 
Araxes at the foot of Mount Ararat. They had estab 
lished themselves in the lower valleys, perhaps mil 
lenniums before the Flood. They were living harmoni 
ously with the Semitic peoples they had found there. 
Centuries mixed the two strains of blood, the conquered 
Semitic peoples took the language and customs of the 
victors. Haiq was king of the Armenians; no one 
knows when. Following him came kings of Semitic 
names, Aram, Armais, Armenag. But the Armenians 
kept the name of their own king; to this day they call 
themselves Haicians, and they call their country Haias- 
dan. The name Armenia was given to it by the con 
quered Semitic tribes of the valleys; it meant In their 
language, "the high country.' 7 

One imagines these ancient Haicians living much as 
the villagers of Berd live to-day. In the valleys, no 
doubt, they built little shelters of mud. They had a 
few sheep, perhaps; perhaps they wore only skins of 
wild animals. There would be a little group of 
Haicians living in a village around the hut, larger than 
the others, of their father-chief. Nearby would be a 
village of Semitic peoples. On some days the men 
would go hunting animals in the forests of the foot 
hills; on other days they would go hunting the men 
of the savage mountain tribes. 

As they pushed higher into the mountains, they lived 
in caves. When settlers from the valleys followed their 


pioneer warriors, they built shelters of stones. One 
day they built a wall around a village; it became im 
pregnable. Thereafter, they went farther into the land 
of Kurds and Georgians; they built a wall around a 
camp, and held it. Warfare had made a great advance. 
They pushed the savages back, to the base of Mount 
Ararat, then to the banks of the Araxes. Civilization 
was conquering the wilderness. 

But behind them another civilization was rising, the 
Semitic civilization of the Assyrians. A little more than 
eleven hundred years before Christ the Assyrians 
began their own conquest of their mountain frontiers. 
The Armenians of the valleys found their Semitic 
neighbours allied with the enemy, and their own blood 
mixed with the same colour. The Assyrian armies 
easily overcame them. The mountain Armenians were 
left between two enemies: to the north the savages, to 
the south the Assyrian empire. They fought bravely, 
but three hundred years later Assyria had conquered, 
and Assyrian camps were pitched beside the Araxes 
River, in the afternoon shadow of Mount Ararat. 
There was a last, convulsive struggle, the Assyrian 
Emperor himself arrived at the head of his army, and 
Ararat saw the first massacre of Armenians. The sur 
vivors fled to inaccessible peaks of the Taurus and 
Caucasian ranges. 

The obstinate tenacity with which these groups of 
fugitive brigands clung to their independence and re 
sisted centuries of effort to absorb them into the As 
syrian civilization created innumerable legends which 
Armenian mothers still tell their children. One may 


hear these tales to-day, by refugee camp fires on the 
shores of the Black Sea, in groups waiting outside de- 
lousing stations on the Greek islands. The legend of 
Ara the Beautiful, beloved of Semiramis; the legend 
of painted Belus, Emperor of Assyria; the legend of 
Astayage's dream. Children, small and helpless in an 
adult world, tell themselves fairy stories in which they 
are prince and princess, ruling an imaginary realm. 
Peoples oppressed by conquerors tell themselves leg 
ends of imaginary ancient glories. 

Thus we have the legend of Haiq, king of Armenia, 
as it was clothed in song during long winter days in 
caves on snow-buried Ararat, while Assyria ruled from 
the Araxes to the Mediterranean. Haiq did not die 
in the valley of the Euphrates, says the tale. He fled 
to the Mother of the World to Ararat where all the 
peoples bowed before him. He established a kingdom 
and built cities, he was a renowned and powerful king. 
Then came Belus, king of Babylon, marching to attack 
Armenia. The Babylonians came in numbers as the 
leaves of the forests, their spears covered the earth as 
thickly as reeds in a marsh. Haiq marched forth to 
meet them with a mere handful of warriors. But 
they were Armenians! The two armies met in the 
valley Haiots-tsor, and encamped on opposite sides, 
while Haiq and Belus came forth to battle. Belus was 
so terrible in his warpaint that even the stout-hearted 
Armenians were shaken by the sight of him, advancing 
spear in hand. But brave Haiq drew his bow, and the 
swift arrow sped to bury itself in Belus' heart. Over 
come by this disaster the Assyrians turned and fled, 


pursued by the Armenians who slaughtered ten thou 
sand. Triumphantly they returned to camp, bearing 
with them the corpse of Belus, whose blood stained the 

Other legends take up the imaginary glorious his 
tory. There is Aram, another king of Armenia, whose 
fame was known to the uttermost shores of the world. 
His son was Ara the Beautiful, the splendour of whose 
countenance was like the sun. He was so beautiful 
that Semiramis, Queen of Assyria, lost her heart when 
she heard him described. She sent messengers begging 
him to marry her, but Ara the Beautiful proudly re 
fused. The great queen's love would not be denied; 
she declared war on Armenia in order to capture its 
beautiful king, and herself marched at the head of her 
troops. Before the battle she gave orders that the man 
would be killed who disturbed one hair of Ara's head. 
But in the fury of the fighting a chance arrow killed 
him. Ara the Beautiful lay dead, and the Queen's 
sorrow made her victory a defeat. 

Even the death of Ara the Beautiful would not 
have conquered the indomitable Armenians; powerful 
Semiramis was driven to stratagem to save her armies. 
Ara the Beautiful must be shown to his enraged people. 
No living being had beauty comparable to his. There 
fore the body of Ara, dressed in his royal robes, was 
shown every day at the window of the palace, and his 
people, thinking him a living hostage in the hands of 
Semiramis, were quiet. 

Semiramis crossed the plateau of the Araxes, and 
went to Van, Such was the beauty of Armenia that 


she was not content until she made that country her 
royal residence. The most magnificent city in the 
world was built on the shores of Lake Van, and the 
gardens of the palace were more marvellous than the 
hanging gardens of Babylon. There Semiramis lived 
in more than imaginable splendour, until the Fire- 
worshippers came to end her reign and her life. 

To this day, the Armenian people see ; in the ruins 
on the shores of Lake Van, the enormous walls of 
granite built for the palace of Queen Semiramis. The 
ruins are indeed there, and a wealth of inscriptions in 
cuneiform writing, which can be read but cannot be 
understood. They are the tombstones of a forgotten 
race. Ara the Beautiful, Semiramis and her sorrows 
and glories, are poetic creations of Armenian refugee- 
brigands, driven to mountain caves by the Assyrian 
armies. These kings and queens, battles and palaces, 
never were on earth. But they are a flowering of that 
deep root, still buried, still alive, which is Armenia. 

It gave us also the legends of King Tigranes, who is 
described as the ruler of free Armenia. He, and his 
son Vahakian, are heroes of a cycle of tales, In which 
they are seen performing more mighty deeds than Her 
cules. Fact and legend cannot be disentangled. But 
the fact seems to have been that the Armenian brig 
and-patriots came from their mountain retreats when 
the Empire of the Medes arose, that they joined the 
Medes in their wars against Assyria, and that in return 
they were given the limited freedom of a vassal state. 
Some centuries later King Tigranes appears, making 
alliance with the Persians against the Medes, then giv* 


ing his sister in marriage to the Median king, then 
waging successful war against him and taking back 
his sister by the simple expedient of making her a 
widow. Tigranes is then described as the ruler, not 
only, of Armenia, but of the lands of the Medes. 

The legendary age ends with Vahakian, son and suc 
cessor of Tigranes. Thereafter, for many centuries, 
we have no more news of the Armenians. History was 
recording as far as records were made the great con 
flicts in the valley of the Euphrates and in Asia Minor. 
The Armenians apparently were free, a small people 
spreading over the plateaus of the Caucasus, mixed 
with Medes, Assyrians and Persians who had straggled 
to these edges of the known world. There must have 
been many tribes of them, loosely united under the 
leadership of one or another. There must have been 
innumerable little wars among them, and between them 
and the valiant survivors of the original inhabitants. 
Their freedom and these wars expressed their emo 
tions in the world of reality, therefore they made no 
more legends. 

This chapter of their history ends with the defeat 
and death of their king, the last descendant of Haiq, 
at the hands of Alexander the Great, when the Mace 
donians and Albanians were conquering the world. 

When Alexander the Great died, and his brief Em 
pire fell to pieces, Armenia became captive to Syria. 
Still it profited by its great distance from the centres 
of government, and its subjection was more nominal 


than real. Emperors were apparently content to let 
that turbulent corner of the world alone if, now and 
then, a knee were bent and a tribute offered. There 
were troubles enough in Asia without stirring more. 

The Parthian Empire was rising now, overthrowing 
one by one the kingdoms established by Alexander's 
generals. Looking back upon those days, one sees the 
pattern; one says, "The Parthian Empire was rising. 7 ' 
So will historians some day see the pattern of to-day's 
events, hidden from us now by the events themselves. 
There is no doubt that during the several centuries fol 
lowing Alexander's adventure, no one knew what was 
happening. It was known only that everywhere there 
were wars and intrigues. 

Out of them came triumphant the chief family of 
one small town, whose power had steadily waxed until 
it covered the whole earth, save only those remote 
fringes of it, the Balkans. Persia was conquered, the 
Macedonians were driven from Babylon, the Greeks 
who had followed them to Asia Minor were chased from 
its shores, Syria was subdued. The glory of the 
Parthian Empire began. 

It was a large, loose empire, administered in each 
of its various subdivisions by a member of the royal 
family. To a brother of the Emperor was given the 
task of subduing and ruling the Caucasus. The rem 
nants of the Macedonians were organizing a revolt 
against the Parthians, and the position of the Arme 
nians between the two greater powers appears in their 
brief emergence from history's forgetfulness of them. 


Macedonians and Parthians joined battle; the Arme 
nians killed the leader of the Macedonians, and were 
at once attacked and defeated by the Parthians. 

The first work of the new Parthian ruler of Armenia, 
Valarsace, was to wipe out brigandage. He was horri 
fied by the barbarity of the country, whose inhabitants, 
he reported, lived by murder and pillage. So are all 
empires horrified by the feeble retaliations of their 
subjects who certainly are not conquered by kind 
ness and charity and so do all conquered moun 
taineers retaliate. The ensuing conflicts among the 
crags of Mount Ararat were called, as usual, "pacify 
ing the country," and in those conflicts the Armenians 
undoubtedly displayed a ferocity equal to that of the 
Parthians. They were, however, pacified in the end. 

Valarsace then organized this subdivision of the em 
pire, and conferred his greatest favours upon a certain 
Jew whose name was Pakarad. Pakarad was given the 
title of Bragatide, or Bestower of the Crown, with the 
honour, made hereditary in his family, of placing the 
crown upon the heads of all successive kings of 
Armenia at their coronation. This office carried with 
it the position of commander of the royal cavalry, and 
the successful Israelite founded a family destined to 
great power in the annals of Armenia. The Bragatide 
princes, indeed, survived even the Armenian empire, 
and more than a thousand years after the death of the 
founder of their family they were kings of the little 
Armenian kingdom which endured almost to modern 


Valarsace, aided by Pakarad, organized Armenia so 
well that for almost half a century the country had no 
history; then it began to play an important part in 
world affairs. 

The Greeks were defeated and had retired. The 
huge Parthian empire was beginning to suffer from its 
unwieldy size. West of the western rim of the earth, 
another small village was spreading its power, be 
coming a city, a state, a kingdom, an empire 

Tigranes the First, king of Armenia, was able to 
play against each other the declining and the rising 
empires, and to seize advantage from both. Armenia 
became a world-power. Mark Antony, the young 
Roman general, waged war against her and captured 
the son of Tigranes, whom he sent captive as a present 
to Cleopatra of Egypt. It was Cleopatra's royal ca 
price, later, to have him decapitated. 

Eventually Armenia was made a vassal of Rome. 
An unwilling vassal, rebellious and turbulent. Ar 
menia's kings enlisted the aid of Persia in their revolts 
against Rome. Various rebellions were put down, and 
in time we find Abgar, king of Armenia, ruling it as 
a Roman governor, and quarrelling violently with 
Herod, Roman governor of Judaea. Herod sent armies 
against Armenia, the Armenians triumphantly de 
feated them, and extended Armenian territory into the 
lower valleys of the Euphrates. 

The political situation was anything but pleasing to 
Rome. Abgar had made a visit to the court of Persia; 


Abgar was building a royal city on the banks of the 
Euphrates. An alliance between Armenia and Persia 
would be a serious danger to Rome. Herod was re 
called, and a new governor of Judaea, with fresh armies, 
was sent to replace him. 

Abgar immediately sent his favourite, Anan, to visit 
this new governor of Judaea, to protest Armenia's inno 
cence of any plot to attack Rome, and to pay the 
annual tribute, now some time in arrears. Of this 
journey from Armenia to Judaea a curious story is told, 
which may not be true, but which easily might have 

Returning from his successful mission, so the story 
goes, Anan lingered a while in Jerusalem. Political 
missions in those days, as now, showed no great haste 
in making history, and the hotels and entertainments of 
Jerusalem must have been pleasant to a hard-worked 
emissary from the provinces of the Caucasus. While in 
Jerusalem, Anan heard much discussion of a new 
prophet who was said to be causing grave uneasiness 
in inner official circles. He was described as a magi 
cian, who performed miracles of many kinds, including 
the cure of diseases. His birth had been surrounded 
with such portents that Herod had ordered a massacre 
of all Jewish male infants. His following was grow 
ing, and might become dangerous to the safety of the 

Returning in due time to the Armenian court, Anan 
reported these rumours. King Abgar, who suffered 
cruelly from an illness which appears to have been 
rheumatism, and who may also have had political 


reasons for making the acquaintance of an enemy of 
Herod and a leader dangerous to Rome, immediately 
dispatched Anan to Jerusalem again, with the follow 
ing letter: 

"Abgar, son of Arscham ; to Jesus, the great doctor 
who has appeared in Judaea Greetings: 

"Sir, I have heard much of thee and of the cures 
thou hast made. Thou dost not heal with drugs and 
with the juices of roots, but with Thy word alone. 
Thou givest sight to the blind, strength to the lame, 
health to the leprous and hearing to the deaf; Thou 
drivest out devils and raisest the dead from the grave. 
Thy word heals all those who suffer and are in pain. 
Therefore I address to Thee this supplication: come to 
me to heal me of my pain and of my suffering as I 
believe that Thou hast power to do. 

"I have heard also that there are those who com 
plain against Thee, pursue Thee and would do Thee 
to death. I possess a beautiful small city and sufficient 
of all good things for Thee and me. Come to me, and 
we will live together in peace," 

This letter, the story goes, was carried by Anan to 
Jesus, at the house of the High Priest in Jerusalem, and 
after having read it, Christ replied that the work which 
He had to do would not permit Him to live at the court 
of Armenia. He promised, however, that, later, one 
of His disciples would go. 

Historically, it is true that soon after the Crucifixion, 
Saint Thomas sent to Armenia one of his disciples, 
named Thaddeus, who was followed by Saint Bartholo- 


mew. This attempt to convert Armenia, however, did 
not succeed. 

"A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love 
one another. ... By this shall all men know that ye 
are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. . . . " 

This was one voice., speaking to a few poor ragged 
men who tramped the roads of Asia Minor and slept 
beneath the stars, while all the world was filled with 
turmoil of battles and clash of old hatreds and new 

"Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy- 
laden, and I will give you peace." 

A new commandment for the war-tortured peoples 
of the world, that they love one another. A new com 
mandment, that would bring them peace. 

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy 
heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This 
is the first and great commandment. 

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thyself. 

"On these two commandments hang all the law and 
the prophets." 

One voice, speaking as the voice of one man could 
speak, for the few that followed Him through His short 
pilgrimage on earth. 

The Roman Empire covered the world. The little 
town on the Tiber had grown so powerful that all the 
old empires had fallen before it. It had pushed even 
beyond known limits of the world, had conquered the 
savages of Gaul, had reached the limits where the world 


ceased to be and only waters were beyond. It was dar 
ing to adventure even over the world's edge, to find 
lost in the encompassing oceans another small frag 
ment of land where savages called Angles and 
Saxons and Picts fought the Roman soldiers with 

Love? Had the doctrine spread, civilization would 
have fallen to fragments. Civilization was then the 
Roman Empire, the Roman Empire was war. The 
world had been made by war and massacre; it con 
tinued to exist by massacre and war. The Roman Em 
pire did not want the peoples of the world to love one 
another; it had subjected the peoples of the world by 
force of arms and by force it continued to keep them 

A new commandment? But the world was full of 
old gods, Roman gods, Greek gods, Persian and Egyp 
tian gods, and here and there gods of Israelites and 
Assyrians and Chaldeans, whose commandments their 
peoples followed. 

In a remote corner of the earth a minor Roman gov 
ernor who found a man stirring his province with these 
doctrines, treasonable in politics and in religion, could 
do only one thing. His political future was at stake. 
A successful term of office in Judaea, with proper politi 
cal support in Rome, might lift him from his mediocre 
place to one nearer the imperial purple. A serious dis 
turbance in Judaea, calling for Roman legions to sup 
press it, would lose him his political head. 

The Galilean was arrested, tried, convicted. The 
rabble that had followed him was not considered im- 


portant Respectable people who happened to hear of 
the incident thought that the Voice that had spoken 
of love was silenced for ever on Calvary. 

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words 
shall not pass away." 

Abgar, the king of Armenia, died. The successful 
war with Herod of Judaea had extended Armenia 
down the valley of the Euphrates into Mesopotamia. 
Abgar's son inherited this fertile lower half of the 
kingdom, but the son of Abgar's sister took the slopes 
of Mount Ararat, and descending from them with his 
hardy mountaineers at his back, seized the whole. The 
country then fell into complete anarchy. Profiting by 
this condition, a certain Erovant exterminated all the 
descendants of the former kings, and seized the throne. 
Only one infant escaped the massacre. This infant, 
named Ardashes, was carried by his nurse to the strong 
hold of Sempad Bragatide (Bestower of the Crown), 
who was the reigning descendant of Pakarad, inheriting 
his honours, wealth, and power. 

Erovant, bargaining with Rome for the safety of his 
kingdom, relinquished Mesopotamia to the Romans, 
and retired to High Armenia, where he built a magnifi 
cent capital, Erivan, on the shores of the Araxes. Here 
he established his court. For his gods, however, he 
built another city at a little distance, in order that the 
multitudes of pilgrims who came to worship them might 
not oblige him to keep too large a garrison of soldiers 
to protect his court. Thus nineteen centuries ago 
Mount Ararat looked down, as it does to-day, upon 


Erivan the capital of Armenia, and Etchmiadzin, the 
centre -of Armenia's religious faith. 

Erovant reigned here in splendour and comparative 
peace. Rome did not trouble him; every year he 
bought his freedom by payment of tribute to the Em 
pire. But the fugitive child of Abgar?s family was 
growing to manhood in the care of Sempad Bragatide, 
and one day Erivan was startled by news that he 
was coming to reclaim his kingdom. King Erovant 
hastened out at the head of his troops, and battle 
was joined on the banks of the Araxes. That night 
the victorious Ardashes slept in the tent of former King 
Erovant, who had been killed by a soldier in the very 
gates of Erivan. 

The reign of Ardashes, under the prudent tutelage 
of Sempad Bragatide, was long and prosperous. When 
a large Roman army appeared at the gates of his capi 
tal, doubtless intending to profit by the disturbance of 
the revolution and annex Armenia, Ardashes bought 
them off by payment of a double tribute. During his 
reign he built a new capital, of which no trace is 
visible to-day, and installed there a large colony of 
Jews, doubtless under the patronage of Sempad Braga 

The ancient and still unended war with the original 
inhabitants of the mountains Georgians, Kurds and 
other savage tribes broke out afresh, and Ardashes 
brilliantly defended the northern boundaries of his 
kingdom. Defeating the savages, he returned from 
the war with a wife, Satinig, still celebrated for her 
marvellous beauty. There are Armenians to-day who 


still sing fragments of the old songs commemorating 
that marriage. 

The great king Ardashes rode out on his black war-horse, 
His thong of red leather and links of gold hissed in the air; 
Swift as an eagle falling upon its prey he crossed the river. 
The thong of red leather and links of gold curled round the 

virgin's body, 
And cruelly seizing around the waist the beautiful Georgian 

Roughly he bore her away into his camp. 

There are villages among the crags of Zangazour, I 
am told, where, to this day, the guests sing at marriage 
feasts, while the musicians are playing and Soviet paper 
roubles are showered on the heads of the dancers, the 
old song: 

A shower of gold fell on the marriage of Ardashes, 
And pearls rained down on the wedding of Satinig. 

Still the aboriginal peoples of the Caucasus con 
tinued to revolt, and Sempad Bragatide took the field 
at the head of an army whose victories were rewarded 
by the gift of a northern province. Here the Braga- 
tides built their own semi-independent capital, Ani. 

So many successes in war, combined with the trou 
bles which beset Rome in Europe, emboldened Ar 
dashes to refuse to pay tribute to the Roman Empire, 
and when Roman armies came to collect it, the Arme 
nians defeated them. Armenia was now at the 


of her power, and while Nero was gazing through his 
emerald at the slaughter of Christians in the arena at 
Rome, Armenians and Persians were raiding the east 
ern provinces of his empire. 

At home, too, Ardashes was accomplishing great 
things. The king and Sempad Bragatide were import 
ing into the wild Caucasus the civilization of the val 
leys. Bridges were built across streams, boats were 
launched on the mountain lakes. A method of count 
ing the days and reckoning the passage of months and 
years was established for the use of the court. The 
people, of course, continued to count time only by the 
changing seasons and the waxing and waning of the 
moon. But for them, too, there were improvements. 
They were instructed to sow seed and to reap the 
harvest; agriculture was beginning. Grapevines were 
brought from Persia and set in Armenian soil. The 
fashion of cooking meat before eating it began to 
spread; it was an acquired taste, like olives, but those 
who had tasted baked meat while hot, preferred it to 
the raw flesh cut from the slaughtered animal, and the 
villages began to dig baking-pits. With the harvest of 
grain, too, came a method of grinding it between stones, 
mixing the result with water, and spreading the dough 
on hot stones to cook. The Armenian bread of to-day 
had been invented. 

These golden days passed. Rome revived under 
Trajan, and when Egypt and Palestine resounded again 
to the tramp of Roman legions, Ardashes abandoned 
valour for discretion, and hastened to remit to Trajan 
the unpaid tribute of the rebellious years. The king 


was growing old; his sons were intriguing against each 
other and against Sempad Bragatide. In the midst of 
these troubles, Ardashes fell ill, and although hundreds 
of human victims were sacrificed to the gods in order 
to save his life, he died. His funeral was a magnifi 
cent one, and his wives and concubines ; buried alive 
with his body, were counted by scores. 

It is said that before his death, during one of the 
quarrels among the princes, Ardashes had cursed his 
son, Ardavazt, who succeeded him to the throne. This 
curse is supposed to have caused the death of Arda 
vazt, who fell into a mountain chasm while king and 
court were one day hunting wild asses. Since that 
time, the Armenian peasants believe, Ardavazt has 
lived chained in a cave and tormented by two enor 
mous dogs. Eternally he tries to break his chains 
and to escape. Should he ever do so, he would devas 
tate the country. Therefore, whenever among the 
mountains is heard the subterranean rumbling of the 
living volcanos, and when a trembling of the earth 
rattles the copper pans and cracks the stone lining of 
baking-pits, the villagers make the sign of the Cross, 
saying, "Ardavazt is trying to break his chains." And 
every Sunday the prudent blacksmith strikes three 
times with his hammer upon his anvil, for thus he 
forges again the chains that bind Ardavazt in his cave. 

One by one, four kings succeeded Ardavazt, while 
the villagers sowed and reaped, were born and married 
and died, and summer and winter went over the eternal 
snows of Ararat. On the plains of the world, far below 
these high plateaus, history was being made. In the 


West, barbarians were attacking Rome from without; 
from within there was a growing restlessness among the 
slaves Christianity. In the East, the remnants of the 
old Parthian Empire were reviving. In Persia a na 
tional religious revolutionary movement was persist 
ently growing. 

Khosrov reigned in Armenia when this Persian revo 
lution succeeded. The revolutionists, overthrowing the 
kings who had adopted Greek gods, re-established at 
the Persian court the religion of the people, Fire-wor 
ship. Amid enthusiastic acclaim of all the populace, 
the new Persian king, Ardashes, ascended to the throne, 
and Persia was securely anticipating a revival of her 
old glory, when Armenia suddenly became dangerous. 

It is a characteristic of all nations so far known to 
history, to attack and if possible, invade any neigh 
bouring country which is upset by revolution. In 
international politics, the difficulties of a neighbour are 
always opportunities for adding to them. Khosrov of 
Armenia naturally lost no time in attacking Persia. 
Many of his captains deserted to the Persians, but 
Khosrov appealed to Rome for aid, and gave battle. 
So successful was he, that he not only defeated the 
Persian armies with great slaughter, but pursued Ar 
dashes, their king, even to the frontiers of India. 

Ardashes, thus ruined and exiled, was driven to 
stratagem. He promised, to any Armenian who would 
kill Khosrov, the highest place in the empire which 
he did not doubt that he could recover, were the king 
of Armenia dead. There were, of course, many claim 
ants to the Armenian throne; to one of these, named 


Anag, Ardashes promised to give Armenia if he would 
earn it by killing Khosrov. 

Anag agreed to the bargain, and his entrance into 
Armenian history is sufficiently dramatic. He appears 
fleeing across the borders of Persia, pursued by Persian 
armies and shrieking to Khosrov for aid. Khosrov im 
mediately sent troops to his rescue, and brought him 
to Erivan, where he soon became a royal favourite. 
For two years Anag dwelt at the Armenian court, cov 
ered with honours and showered with gifts, and during 
those two years he became the father of a child who 
was named Gregory. This boy was born sixteen cen 
turies ago; for more than fifteen centuries his bones 
have been dust, but his short life has preserved for 
fifteen hundred years the life of the Armenian people. 
He became Saint Gregory the Illuminator, founder of 
the Armenian Gregorian church. 

He was a baby in the arms of his nurse when Anag, 
his father, carried out his promise of killing Khosrov. 
Choosing a moment, when in the excitement of a hunt, 
the unsuspecting king was unguarded, Anag stabbed 
him to death and fled toward Persia. On the banks of 
the Araxes, some miles below Erivan, he was overtaken 
and killed by the king's guards. 

Dying, Khosrov gave orders that Anag's family 
should be massacred, and none of his blood escaped 
the slaughter save Gregory, with whom his nurse fled 
to Caesarea, a Roman city of Anatolia. 

As soon as the news of Khosrov's death reached him, 
Ardashes gathered his armies and threw himself on 
Armenia, which was embroiled in a dozen civil wars 


among claimants for the empty throne. Easily defeat 
ing the disordered country, Ardashes subdued all the 
warring chiefs, excepting only the reigning Bragatide, 
who took refuge in impregnable Ani. As for the family 
of Khosrov, it was massacred, with the exception of 
one infant named Tiridates, whose nurse fled with him 
to Rome. 

After his victory, Ardashes established himself in 
Armenia, defeated an army sent against him by Rome, 
and suppressed all gods but Fire, throughout his new 
dominions. He reigned comfortably for thirty-six 
years, and was succeeded by his son as king of Ar 

Then Rome played her trump card Tiridates, the 
rightful heir to the Armenian throne, who had been 
held in reserve and educated at the Roman court. 
Roman armies marched into Armenia and made him 
king, that is to say, they reconquered Armenia for the 
Roman Empire. Tiridates, established on his throne, 
drove out the priests of the Fire, set up again the old 
gods and those of Rome, and began his long and event 
ful reign. 

Not long after it began, there arrived a traveller from 
Csesarea, Gregory. He had been brought up as the 
son of his nurse, a poor woman and a Christian, who 
had taught him her own faith. Living as a modest, 
working man among the poor, he had married a Chris 
tian woman and was the father of two sons, when he 
heard the story of Khosrov's murder. Thinking about 
it and praying for guidance, it seemed to him to be his 
duty to devote his life to expiating his father's crime. 


His wife agreed with him. The family was broken up, 
the wife and two boys going to join a Christian group 
in Rome, while Gregory came to Armenia to serve 

He was well received by the king, and very soon held 
a high place in the royal councils. He had not told 
Tiridates that he was the son of Khosrov's murderer. 
Feeling it his duty to expiate that inherited sin by serv 
ing the orphaned son, he could hardly have begun his 
service by an announcement that would have ended it 
and his life together. But when the time of the autumn 
sacrifice to the gods arrived, another difficulty arose. 
Tiridates was a deeply religious king and a devout 
worshipper of the old gods. Gregory was a Christian. 
As a Christian, he was constrained to refuse to sacri 
fice to the gods of Tiridates, and the friendly king was 
reluctantly compelled to put him to the torture. Greg 
ory, under the torture, was still refusing to abandon 
his faith, when jealous courtiers who had been mak 
ing private inquiries into the past of the king's new 
favourite, announced to Tiridates that the obdurate 
Christian was the son of Anag. 

In natural fury, Tiridates ordered him thrown into 
an old well to starve. Thereafter during some thir 
teen years, Gregory was forgotten. 



THE stage is set for Armenia's conversion to 
Christianity. Around this great fact so many 
legends cluster and so many battles have been 
fought by those more learned than I, that I hesitate. I 
hesitate, too, because I remember my many Armenian 
friends, cultured, intelligent and sincerely devout men 
and women, to whom the story of this conversion means 
no more, and no less, than it means to the American 
for whom I write it, I would not misrepresent the 
Armenians, whom it is my hope, indeed, to represent 
as they actually are, through these many wearying 
pages of writing. I pause, remembering among others 
Dr. Artine, whom I am glad to call my friend; a man 
who, in the Armenian Church, is one of the number of 
earnest followers of Christ who are working within 
the Christian Churches of the world to make them ex 
press more perfectly His Spirit. 

Yet to make intelligible his effort, and that of many 
other leaders of the Armenian people, the weight 
which they are trying to lift must be shown. When 
I think of the Armenian faith, its followers seem to me 
to fall into three groups; the mass of the people, op 
pressed during fifteen centuries, to whom the Church 
is what the Catholic Church was to the miserable peas- 



ants of Europe during the Dark Ages, a bit of beauty, 
a light in darkness, a hope; the Vartabed-Bishops of 
Etchmiadzin, whom I shall later describe; and the men 
and women scattered through all masses of Armenians 
wherever you find them, who are Christians as we, who 
belong to the Churches of America are Christians. 

Please to understand then, that the story of Ar 
menia's conversion to Christianity which I am about 
to relate is that story as it is understood by Armenian 
peasants, as it is told to their children by the shawled 
women who reverently kiss the cornerstone of every 
church as they pass it. 

Thirteen years after Saint Gregory had been thrown 
into a well and forgotten, King Tiridates received a 
letter from Diocletian, Emperor of Rome. Diocletian, 
after amiable greeting to the King of Armenia, in 
formed him that a certain Christian virgin of remark 
able beauty was said to have fled from Rome to Ar 
menia, accompanied by several other women. Dio 
cletian, having been told of the girPs charms, had sent 
his soldiers to bring her to him, but when they reached 
the place where she had been living with other Chris 
tian women, they found that the whole community had 
escaped. It was said that they had taken refuge in 
Armenia. The girl, a Greek, was named Hripsime, and 
the Mother-Superior of the community was known as 
Gaiane. Diocletian requested Tiridates to search his 
kingdom for these women, and if they were found, to 
send these two under guard to Rome. 

Tiridates immediately offered rewards for the dis- 


covery of the women, and it was soon reported that 
they were living not far from Erivan, in a shelter in 
which winecasks were stored between vintage seasons. 
One of their number understood the art of making 
beads, and by selling these the community earned its 
food. When Tiridates received this information, he 
ordered Hripsime brought to the palace, and the others 
guarded until he should decide what to do with them. 

The king's guards sent to carry out this order en 
countered an unexpected resistance. Hripsime not 
only refused to accompany them, but when they at 
tempted to take her by force she fought so desperately 
that a second detachment was ordered out to help to 
subdue her. No less than twenty men were required 
to get her to the palace, and the king, hearing of this 
remarkable battle, himself went to see her. 

He was so struck by her beauty that he decided to 
marry her himself, rather than send her back to Dio 
cletian. The marriage was announced, and according 
to the simple custom of the day Hripsime was carried 
to the king's apartments, while gifts were distributed to 
the rejoicing populace in the streets of Erivan. While 
the marriage was thus being celebrated and all Erivan 
was singing and dancing outside the palace, within the 
king's apartments Hripsime was continuing her resist 
ance so effectually that the king barely escaped with 
his life. 

Force having failed, Tiridates sent his guards to 
bring Gaiane, the Mother-Superior of the little Chris 
tian community. Gaiane was threatened with torture 
and instructed to command Hripsime to yield to the 


king. Instead of doing this, she spoke to the girl in 
Greek, a language which the guards did not under 
stand, and urged her to remain firm in devotion to her 
vows of celibacy. Gaiane was taken back to her other 
companions, and that night Hripsime fought so des 
perately that she escaped from the palace. 

The king's guards sent in pursuit captured her be 
fore morning, tied her to four stakes, cut out her eyes 
and tongue, burned her with their torches, and sub 
jected her to other tortures until late in the following 
day, when they killed her with stones. 

Gaiane and the little group of thirty-four Christian 
girls in the shelter of the wine casks were reserved for 
the entertainment of the court, which enjoyed the spec 
tacle of their sufferings under more deliberate refine 
ments of cruelty until they also died. 

Immediately the wrath of heaven fell upon king and 
court; Tiridates and all who had assisted in the martyr 
dom of the Christians were changed into wild boars. 
A few faithful citizens of Erivan guarded them in the 
forests to which they had rushed, where they lived on 
acorns. Armenia was left without a king, and the 
horrified family of Tiridates appealed in vain to their 
gods. At last Christ sent a dream to the king's sister. 
In this dream a figure of more than mortal beauty 
appeared to her, and said that the king would be cured 
only when Saint Gregory was brought from the well 
into which he had been thrown thirteen years earlier. 

In the morning the king's sister related this dream, 
but no one thought it important. Only after the figure 
had five times appeared to her, repeating each time the 


same words, was she able to prevail upon the king's 
minister to release Gregory. He himself went to the 
well in which it had been thought that Saint Gregory 
had died long ago, and drew the saint from its depths. 
During the thirteen years Saint Gregory had become 
completely black. 

He was taken to Erivan, and thence to the forest, 
where at sight of him Tiridates and his courtiers re 
covered their human reason and voices, but remained 
imprisoned in the bodies of boars. These boars fol 
lowed Saint Gregory weeping and imploring him to 
save them from their hideous punishment, and every 
order which Gregory gave was immediately confirmed 
by the boar Tiridates. 

Gregory's first desire was to be taken to the bodies 
of the Christian martyrs, which were found to be still 
perfectly preserved. By Gregory's orders they were 
carried to the shelter of the wine-casks, and there the 
saint prayed before them during sixty days and nights, 
while the human boars grovelled outside the door, 
listening to his words. 

At midnight of the sixty-sixth night Saint Gregory, 
still awake and meditating upon the infinite mercy of 
God, was granted a vision. With a noise of thunder 
and of crashing waves, the firmament opened like a 
tent, and from it descended a figure of shining light 
who called Gregory by his name, saying, "Look up, 
and contemplate the wonders which I am come to show 

Saint Gregory beheld the heavens opened, and there 
were revealed mountains and valleys so enormous that 


the eye could not see their limits. From them poured 
a light that fell upon the earth, and in this light came 
innumerable shining angels with wings of flame. These 
filled the flood of light as particles of dust fill a ray 
of sunshine which in the bright days of springtime may 
sometimes enter a house through a crack made by 
winter storms. These angels covered all the earth, 
together with the spreading light. 

Then from on high descended a man of terrible 
aspect, holding in his hand an enormous hammer of 
gold. He came like an eagle dropping swiftly from 
the sky, and struck with his hammer the gigantic land 
scape of mountain and valley. The sound of the ter 
rible blow filled the deepest chasms of hell, and in 
stantly mountains and valleys vanished, and an im 
mense plain stretched as far as eye could see. 

Then in the midst of the city of the old gods, near 
the palace of the king, appeared a golden pedestal, 
from which rose an immense column of fire, with 
capital made of cloud, surmounted by a fiery cross. 
Around it rose three other pedestals, one where Hrip- 
sime had died, one where her companions had been tor 
tured, one above the shelter of the wine-casks. These 
pedestals were of blood, their columns were of cloud 
and their capitals of fire- All were surmounted by 
crosses, and from these crosses sprang arches, and 
upon the arches appeared a pavilion made of clouds. 
Under this pavilion, on the arches, stood the martyred 
women, ineffably beautiful, clad in shining, white gar 
ments. Above the pavilion stood a throne of iron, and 


upon this throne was the Cross of Christ. The light 
from Heaven mingled with the rays of light spreading 
from the Cross, and radiant columns of light touched 
the bases of the columns of cloud. 

On the enormous plain which filled the heavens a 
spring of water opened, and flowed out upon the land. 
The water became a blue sea, the fields about it be 
came blue as the sky, upon them appeared innumerable 
fiery altars, and beside each altar a column surmounted 
by a cross; the numbers of them were as the stars of 

Through the blue waters came immense flocks of 
black goats which, having been bathed in that sea, were 
transformed into white lambs with shining fleeces. 
These became sheep and increased and multiplied, 
lambs covering all the plains. Again these divided 
into two parts, of which one, crossing the water, be 
came black wolves and turned upon the lambs to de 
vour them. Rivers of blood flowed from the carnage. 
But great numbers of the lambs became winged, and 
flew from the slaughter to join the shining legions of 
the angels. A torrent of fire destroyed the wolves, 
and the vision vanished. 

In the morning Saint Gregory described the wonders 
he had seen, which Tiridates understood to mean that 
Armenia must immediately become Christian. Under 
his orders, crowds immediately began the work of 
erecting Christian churches on the sites indicated by 
the columns of the vision. Meantime, Saint Gregory 
laid the bodies of the martyrs in pine coffins, and Tiri- 


dates himself, aided by his wives who had retained 
their human shape, dug the graves. 

As to the spot where the column of fire had been 
seen by Gregory, it was enclosed by high walls. Tiri- 
dates went to the top of Mount Ararat and himself 
brought down from the summit a huge block of granite 
which formed their cornerstone, and when he had done 
this he was restored to human form. The walls were 
completed, a cross set upon them, and they remain 
to this day the walls of Etchmiadzin, the Vatican of 
the Armenian church. 

In these legends one sees the reaction of a primitive 
people on whom a new, and unknown, religion is sud 
denly forced. Gregory had converted to Christianity 
the king who, during his long reign, had most devoutly 
worshipped the gods of the people. In Armenia were 
probably remnants of all religions known to human 
ity; prehistoric, unknown gods such as those wor 
shipped there to-day by the Yezidees, whose religion 
is secret, but is said to be worship of the devil; old 
gods of the Medes and the Persians; Jehovah, the god 
of the Jews; gods of the Assyrians and the Chaldeans; 
the modern gods of the Greeks, come from Olympus; 
the gods of the Romans, Jupiter and Mars. Here and 
there, furtive among the mountains, persecuted by Tiri- 
dates, must have been groups worshipping Fire, the 
god of the Persians. That there were some Christians 
in the country is obvious, for Gregory's imprisonment 
was a fact, and during it he was fed secretly by an old 
Christian woman of the neighbourhood. 


One imagines what the conversion must have been 
to the masses of the people. Upon this mixture of old 
creeds suddenly is forced a new faith. King Tiridates 
has decreed that men worship a new god named Christ. 
On the heels of this announcement come the king's 
armies, the king himself at their head, with Saint 
Gregory beside him, and war and massacre sweep the 
land. The priests of the old faiths fight desperately 
in their fortress-towns, the people rally around their 
gods, which do not save them. Town after town falls, 
accompanied by the bloody slaughter of its defenders; 
with his own hands Saint Gregory fires a stronghold, 
burning men and women and children alive. With his 
own hands he throws down and breaks the smoke- 
blackened idols. By thousands and tens of thousands 
the terrified populations flock to announce their con 

In three years the last priest of the old faiths has 
been killed or has escaped over the borders into 
Persia; the last god lies in fragments. Saint Gregory, 
in a wagon drawn by white mules, and attended by 
twenty-four princes of Armenia, goes to Caesarea, 
where he is ordained a bishop. On his return he brings 
with him some bones of Saint John the Baptist, pur 
chased by Armenian gold from the Bishop of Csesarea, 
and in one day, on the banks of the Euphrates, he 
baptizes the king and court, the army, and one hun 
dred and ninety thousand of the people. Armenia has 
become Christian. 

Tiridates died after a reign of fifty-six years, and 


his death was sunset for Armenia. A little light 
lingered for a time, troubled and cloudy, and then 
Armenia disappeared as a nation. 

Naturally there remained much discontent and tur 
moil of religions in the country. The early, primitive 
Christianity of the men and women who had known 
Christ in the flesh had its scattered adherents. Tiri- 
dates had persecuted them as he had persecuted the 
Fire worshippers. The new Church, of which Saint 
Gregory was the first Katholicos, continued to perse 
cute both, and in addition was obliged energetically to 
continue the suppression of the gods formerly favoured 
by King Tiridates. 

Persia was not slow to use the pretext of persecuted 
co-religionists in order to further her imperialistic de 
signs on Armenia. She stirred up religious revolts in 
Daghestan, then sent her armies to aid them. Armenia 
was obliged to call on Rome for help. Thereafter 
her short story is one of desperate attempts to save 
her life, both from Persia and from the Byzantine 
Empire. The two great powers as has always been, 
and is to-day, the way of powerful nations with weaker 
ones used Armenia as a pawn in the game they were 
playing against each other, until the game paused for a 
moment at the peace treaty with which they divided 

The last kings went down in convulsive efforts to 
save themselves, not only from foreign invaders, but 
from the Katholicos of the Church. As they lost 
strength, the Church acquired it. 

Diran, king of Armenia, having bought safety by 


paying tribute both to Persia and to Rome, was obliged 
to send Ms family as hostages with the Emperor Julian 
on a campaign in Persia. While they were gone, the 
Katholicos Jousig tore down from the wall of the Royal 
Church a portrait of Julian and trampled it beneath 
his feet. Diran, trembling for his family when the 
Emperor should hear of this insult, had the Katholicos 
whipped to death. But the Armenian troops that were 
with Julian, when they heard of this sacrilegious execu 
tion, refused any longer to obey Diran's orders, and 
deserted. The Roman Emperor's vengeance was 
averted by his death from wounds, but immediately 
Diran received an invitation from the Persian Em 
peror to visit him at the Persian court, an invitation 
he dared not refuse. The Persian Emperor received 
him courteously, ordered his eyes burned out, and gave 
Armenia a king whom he thought would be more loyal 
to Persia. 

This story is typical. Repeated for a century, it is 
the story of the fall of Armenia. In the beginning of 
the fifth century, Great Armenia was engulfed by 
waves of foreign invasion, and save for the brief up 
rising of the Bragatide dynasty at Ani in the ninth 
and tenth centuries and of Little Armenia in Cilicia 
during the Crusades, Armenia has ever since remained 

The force that has kept her alive, a nation, a people, 
resisting absorption by the successive conquerors of 
fifteen centuries, is the Church. Persians, Greeks, 
Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Franks, Egyptians, fought 


each other over the living body of Armenia, and did 
not destroy her, because of the Church. The five cen 
turies of comparative peace under the Turkish Empire 
did not absorb her people, because of the Church. 
Obstinate, forceful, mystic, intelligent, the Gregorian 
Church has maintained itself through fifteen centuries 
of attack, and the walls of Etchmiadzin still stand as 
firm as the cliffs of Mount Ararat. 

While the last, little kings of Armenia were dying, 
the great Katholicos Nerses laid the foundations of 
the Church government. He was such a leader of the 
Church as the Pope of Rome became in Europe during 
the Middle Ages. It was he who treated with the Em 
perors of Constantinople and of Persia, he who gath 
ered the armies that brought back fugitive little kings 
and set them again on the tottering throne. 

But his wisdom was in the depth with which he laid 
the foundations of the Church. He built them in the 
hearts of the people. For the first time the peasants 
living in their cave-houses, the poor who had never 
known anything but toil and war and oppression, re 
ceived something from their ruler-priests. Houses 
where the sick were cared for appeared in all the 
villages; shelters were built for travellers; on the sum 
mits of the mountains and on the lake islands rose 
monasteries whose walls were refuges where justice 
could be found, and at whose doors bread was dis 
tributed to the hungry. In one short lifetime the 
Armenian people learned to love their Church with a 
passionate devotion which nothing could overcome. 

Before the century ended, the Church had given the 


Armenians a new religion, a new unity, an alphabet, 
the beginning of a Golden Age of literature which 
Europe was not to equal for a thousand years. The 
monasteries had drawn into* their cloisters the intelli 
gence, the energy and the genius of Armenia, and in 
the sixth century they were producing one of the finest 
flowerings of humanity's creative spirit. 

The fresh vitality brought to the life of the people 
by the Church was revealed in the first of the politico- 
religious persecutions inflicted upon the Armenians. In 
the first half of the fifth century these began, with 
the determination of the Emperor of Persia to re 
establish the worship of Fire throughout his dominions. 

The news of this intent became known to the 
Armenians when a large army led by the chief of the 
Persian generals crossed their borders, announcing the 
Emperor's orders that all Christians must abandon 
their faith and adopt that of the Magis. This order 
was followed immediately by the arrest and convey 
ance to the Persian court of the leading bishops of 
the Church. One imagines how this news swept 
through the mountain defiles and penetrated the under 
ground villages of the peasants on the plains of the 
Araxes. It was followed by a report that at the 
Persian court the bishops had yielded, and had sacri 
ficed to the Fire. 

The Bishops had in fact done so, thus early showing 
the flexibility with which the Church weathered storms. 
The yielding had been a stratagem. Loaded with 
Persian gifts they returned to their own country and 
at once announced a holy war. The people who had 


been unable to defend their kings rose as one mass to 
defend their church. The first Persian army sent 
against them was defeated before the snows of that 
winter fell. Then, in the mountain passes buried in 
snow, Armenians stood staunch throughout the long, 
bitter winter. During seven months Persian emissaries 
tried in vain to sow discord among the troops; not a 
single soldier deserted. In the spring the army ad 
vanced to battle, and on the second of June, 451 A.D., 
Ararat looked down upon the contending forces. 

Armenian historians describe the battle as of ter 
rible ferocity; it endured an entire day. The Persians 
lost three thousand, five hundred and forty-four men 
before they won the victory. The battle was followed 
by a massacre of one thousand and thirty-six Arme 
nians, and the whole population of Armenia, men, 
women and children, with their flocks, fled to inaccessi 
ble defiles of the mountains. Doubtless the village 
of Berd took refuge in its caves. 

Harassed and assailed by small bands of the intrepid 
Armenians, who descended on them from all sides, the 
Persian armies were unable to subdue or to hold the 
country. To set up Fire worship was impossible. The 
Persian general was obliged to admit defeat and to 
report to his Emperor that his rage should fall upon 
the men who had suggested the disastrous attempt. 
The Emperor immediately appointed a new governor 
of Armenia, instructed to subdue the Armenians by 
kindness, and withdrew his armies. 

In the year 1924 the peasant-villagers of Soviet 
Armenia are still celebrating with song and dance the 


anniversary of that battle in which three thousand, five 
hundred and forty-four Persians fell. The spirit which 
they showed in the fifth century has not failed them 
since, and though names and dates and conquering 
races have changed as centuries passed, their history 
since that time has been little more than repetition. 



SO we come to Erivan, crescent of green trees and 
flat-roofed houses, curved among low hills on 
the banks of the Araxes at the foot of Mount 
Ararat. The Armenians say that Noah named it, when 
the Ark rested between its two peaks, and looking forth 
at the receding waters of the Flood he saw the first 
land emerge, and exclaimed, "Yerivan!" which means, 
in Armenian, "It is seen!" One of the shallow de 
pressions in the rolling land about it is called, "The 
footprint of Noah," and on the spot where he is thought 
to have made his vineyard stands a village named, 
"The vine was planted here." 

Travellers who saw Erivan before the war speak 
of it as a city of gardens and fountains^ of cobbled, 
walled streets where beautiful Armenian women walked 
in filmy veils of white and red, of flat roof-tops where 
all the people slept beneath the stars. 

When the Americans came into it in 1919 it was a 
city of fallen walls and death. The Tartar section had 
been destroyed as Jehovah had commanded his people 
to destroy the cities they took, so that not one stone 
remained upon another, and nothing living moved in it. 
The Armenian city had passed through the siege of 
the Bolsheviks, and had suffered in the riots and 



massacres of the Armenian Nationalist's short-lived 
counter-revolution. The very pavements of the streets 
were uprooted, walls had fallen upon them, choking 
the gutters of running water, and pestilence had come 
out of the ruins to feed on the starving people. 

Nothing of this was new to Erivan, the city that 
has suffered looting and burning and massacre at the 
hands of invading Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, 
Tartars, Turks and Russians, since first its walls were 
built. But the invasion by America was new. 

Do I say this too often? Can it be said too often? 
The attitude of Americans toward the world is a new 
thing. Nineteen centuries ago an ambitious politician 
and a group of fanatical churchmen silenced for ever 
as they thought a Voice that said, "A new command 
ment give I unto you, that ye love one another. . . . 
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, 
if ye have love one to another." For nineteen cen- 
tures that Voice has been buried under noise of wars 
and clamour of old hates and new greeds; its message 
clothed in creeds that kept it alive, but stifled it. In 
the name of Christ every barbarity has been done that 
was known to the old gods. Under pretext of spread 
ing Christian civilizations in un-Christian countries 
old hates have been nourished among Christian na 
tions, and war after war has drenched the earth in 
innocent blood and fed the living on misery. Now, 
after nineteen hundred years, Christ's message comes 
again to the suffering multitudes, clothed not in words 
nor creeds, but in deeds. Twenty millions of human 


beings, citizens of a world-power, followers of all 
creeds and of none, twenty millions of us with all our 
human faults of selfish ambitions and envy and all 
uncharitableness, nevertheless unite to express in deeds 
a Christian love. 

For the first time since Armenians, clothed in skins 
and carrying stone-weighted clubs, came out of the 
unknown birthplace of mankind to climb the foothills 
of Mount Ararat, a powerful foreign nation has in 
vaded the country, bringing not hate, but love. 
Twenty million Americans, who had never seen and 
never would see Armenia, so felt the spirit of Christ 
that they did this thing. 

That, to me, is the real meaning of the American 
work in Armenia. Not the multitudes that were saved 
from starvation, nor the tens of thousands of little 
children bathed and clothed and fed, not the unofficial 
but actual economic administration of an entire coun 
try, but the great fact of Christ's spirit working 
through the machinery of the modern world. 

For the first time it animates that machinery, and 
it works partially and feebly. Human beings make 
the great organizations, human beings carry out their 
work. Christ said, "Love your enemies." Christ said, 
"Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor." 

But we are human still, and a Divine spirit does not 
fill us to overflowing, crowding out all other things. 
It is too much, yet, to ask us to sell all that we have 
and give to the poor; a little sacrifice we can make, 
but not such a great one. It is too much, yet, to ask 
us to love our enemies. But the love we have for 


ourselves, spreading to our families, to our neighbours, 
to our state and country, at last brims over that boun 
dary. We cannot love our enemies, we cannot yet love 
Germans or Turks, but at least we can love strangers. 
Another obstinate obstacle to the spreading of Christ's 
spirit throughout the world breaks down then. 

So the Americans came into Erivan. Representative 
Americans, as human as the rest of us. Not animated 
solely by unselfishness, nor more filled to overflowing 
by Divine spirit than most of us all. Many came 
because they liked strange countries and adventure; 
many because .their work in the war had taken them 
from their normal lives at home, and chance led them 
on to Armenia; many because their professional work 
was such as must be done here, and they were follow 
ing their careers. But all these motives were mixed in 
them with the motive spirit that had sent them, and 
their work was done in that spirit. 

It was strange to see, in aged Erivan, the coming of 
those Americans. Straight-eyed, healthy, active Amer 
ican girls in uniform, walking through the walled 
streets as no gracefully veiled and subtly feminine 
Armenian girl had ever walked, climbing over heaps 
of debris, inspecting ruined buildings with practical 
eyes, directing workmen. Nurses in white, efficient, 
practical, and jolly, sleeves rolled up and antiseptics 
handy, washing emaciated bodies all day long, treat 
ing loathsome sores, shaving and anointing hundreds 
of favus-encrusted heads. Men in khaki, with Sam 
Browne belts and Russian boots, striding into gov 
ernment offices, or busy at tables with piles of esti- 


mates, waybills and roughly sketched architect's plans. 
Young, vigorous, impatient Americans, heading gangs 
of refugee workmen who were cleaning the streets 
and hauling away the cartloads of dead and fumigating 
pestholes. Shirt-sleeved Americans, pencil in hand, 
checking carloads of goods into warehouses, checking 
them out again into camel-carts and ox-wagons, pre 
siding over distribution of bread and of old clothes, 
Americans, working, getting the job done. 

We do not talk of our souls, like the Russians; we 
work and put our souls into the work. We do not 
sit for long hours contemplating the stars and cloth 
ing our thoughts of them in beautiful words, as the 
Persians and the Tartars do; we say, "It's a peach of 
a night, but gee! I've got to get up early tomorrow 1" 
We do not kiss the cornerstones of churches, nor say, 
"God's blessing on you," to each other, as the Arme 
nians do; we keep our thoughts of God to ourselves, 
and when every Sunday the Americans in Erivan meet 
to read together a chapter of the Bible and to sing 
a few hymns, they close the hymn books to talk of 
warehouse tonnage and of new hospital wards. We 
are a practical people; many men scorn us for it- But 
we are the first people who have built great organiza 
tions to feed the hungry, clothe "the naked and heal 
the sick; we are the first people who have fought an 
unselfish war and withdrawn from a dishonourable 
peace. We are the first people who have done Christ's 
work in Christ's own country, the Near East. 

The Americans in Erivan cleaned the streets, cleared 
the choked gutters that were spreading pestilence, laid 


down again the up-torn paving stones. They created 
nine hospitals, where thousands of sick have been 
brought from dirty paving stones to be bathed and 
laid between clean sheets on beds. Thpy gathered up 
forty-five hundred miserable sick little animals and 
made them again into human children, clean, rosy, 
and able to laugh. They built workshops, where boys 
are learning trades; a Boy Scout house where they are 
learning to be honourable and self-respecting men; a 
Girl Scout organization which is giving future mothers 
of Armenia the ideals of American womanhood. 

The Americans in Erivan did these things, but they 
were the hands of twenty million Americans on the 
other side of the world. 

So Erivan was made into the city it is to-day, by 
busy stenographers in New York City, by men and 
women on the farms of the Middle West, by miners in 
Colorado, and oil-drillers in Oklahoma and California, 
by business men and women in Chicago and Portland, 
Oregon, and Portland, Maine, by pastors of little 
churches and their wives who make their own hats, by 
multitudes of school children who went to see a mov 
ing-picture show, bringing food from mother's pantry 
to pay their admission, by the farmers' sons of Kansas 
who raised corn for Armenia by America. 

Erivan is now a crescent of green trees and flat- 
roofed houses, on the banks of the Araxes in the 
shadow of Mount Ararat. Its streets are still broken, 
but clean; water flows in its sewer-gutters until win 
ter's cold freezes them. Its buildings that were 
wrecked are homes and schools and workshops and 


hospitals for thousands of Armenian children whose 
lives were saved by America. The huddle of markets 
that surround the square of the old Russian church 
are alive again, living on the new currency, American 
old clothes, which was put in circulation by American 
purchases of labour and materials. Ox-wagons lumber 
through the streets, bringing in the harvest of fields 
that were sown because America fed the peasants with 
Kansas corn-grits. That harvest has set turning again 
the wheels of the old water-mills in the canyon of the 

Mount Ararat and the Araxes, that saw the pre 
historic invasion of the Armenians, that saw the 
invasions of Assyrians, Medes, Persians, Greeks, 
Romans, Arabs, Turks, Tartars, Russians, that have 
seen the marching of German armies and English, have 
now seen the American invasion. 

The road to Gamarlu runs from Erivan toward the 
Persian border, a long straight road across the plains 
below Mount Ararat. Ten years ago it must have 
been a beautiful and romantic road, bordered all the 
way by the low mud villages of the Tartar people. 
Rows of poplars shaded it and raised their slender 
spires of green above the Tartar gardens where fruit- 
trees bloomed; Tartar women sat by the roadside 
grinding grain between two stones and gossiping of 
the passers-by. This was the caravan road from 
Persia; along it drove the carriages of the rich, drawn 
by shining horses decked in silver and blue beads, and 
up and down it passed the long pack-trains of camels 


with their deep-toned chime of bells and their packs 
of spices and rugs. 

The road to Gamarlu is now an empty track through 
desolation. Dust blows across the untilled fields, the 
walls of the gardens are broken down, the houses are 
falling shells of homes. For twenty miles one goes 
through ruins, where only a few returned Tartars live 
furtively and poor, in gardens whose flowers are dead 
and whose unpruned and broken trees pitifully attempt 
to bloom. Then one comes to the village of Gamarlu, 
where the Lord Mayor's Fund is feeding the children 
of refugee Armenians from Mesopotamia. 

The English attitude in foreign affairs is that of the 
business man, and it is the American who says that 
there is no sentiment in business. Nevertheless, cer 
tain obligations, once undertaken, must be carried out 
even at a loss. The English had given the Armenians 
refuge in Mesopotamia, and having done this, they 
had the Armenians on their hands. Twenty-five hun 
dred of them were brought from Mesopotamia to Soviet 
Armenia, where the government gave them the lands 
of the Tartars who were driven from their villages in 
1915. Here the British government is caring for them, 
through the Lord Mayor's Fund. 

This refugee-camp of Turkish Armenians is an ob 
ject-lesson which makes Soviet Armenia reluctant to 
admit others. Exhausted by years of refugeeism, de 
moralized by idle years of living encamped in Meso 
potamia, and worn by the long march northward, they 
arrived in the new homes. Here they fell prey to 
malaria, the scourge of the lowlands to which during 


centuries the Tartars had become immune, but which 
decimates the exhausted Armenians. The British give 
them seeds and tools and farm animals, but their ef 
forts to till the soil are faltering and ineffectual. Hud 
dled in shelters made amid the ruins of Tartar villages 
on the plain, they sit hopelessly, alternately swallow 
ing the quinine served out to them and shivering in 
the ague of new infection brought by swarms of mos 
quitoes from the undrained lands. 

They are Turkish Armenians. These men accus 
tomed to the life of shops, to handling goods and bar 
gaining, these women with babies at their breasts, 
whose home villages are in ruins far away, are too 
tired and too listless to adapt themselves to life in a 
new country among people who do not speak their dia 
lect. They respond spasmodically to the galvanizing 
efforts of the British, and sink into apathy again. 

Only the several hundred of their children who have 
been taken into British orphanages in Erivan, will live 
in the Armenia of to-morrow. These, sturdy and 
healthy in their stout boots and sensible clothing such 
as English children wear, are growing up to useful lives 
of an English-Armenian character. So much England 
contributes to the pattern of Armenia, toiiich all na 
tions of history have somewhat coloured and changed. 

On the plains between Gamarlu and the base of 
Mount Ararat, a little hill rises steeply above the well 
in which Saint Gregory is supposed to have spent his 
thirteen years of imprisonment. The summit of the 
earthen cliff is surmounted by a church Saint Gregory 
built. The stone walls around it, twenty feet thick, 


are a honeycomb of rooms and narrow stone staircases; 
In the quadrangle stands the church, as solid as when 
first it was built sixteen centuries ago. Only sunshine 
and mountain breeze come here now; the last priest 
who lived here is dead. To this church of Saint Greg 
ory, founder of their faith, the Turkish Armenians 
from Mesopotamia are to be moved. It is hoped that 
the height of the hill and the distance from the marshes 
will somewhat protect them from malaria. 


THE way to Etchmiadzin dips into the deep 
gulch of the Araxes River, below the crumbled 
walls of Erivan that rise against the sky. 
The steep banks climbing to them were once the Tar 
tar quarter; now gangs of refugee-workmen are clear 
ing away the debris of houses and terracing the de 
clivity. One day it will be a public park, beautiful 
above the swiftly rushing water. 

Crossing the torrent on a bridge above the water- 
mills, whose flat roofs are golden with grain piled in 
the sun, the road rises swiftly to the level of the 
plateau, and there is again a glimpse of Erivan's Rus 
sian Church towers and the dome of the Persian Blue 
Mosque like a sapphire bubble above straight lines of 
jroofs. Then the dust-deep road turns into narrow 
lanes hemmed in by high mud walls. These are the 
walls of little farms, and over their tops appear the 
topmost twigs of fruit trees, olive and apricot and 

Armenia's fruit, like her cotton and wine, is famous 
throughout this part of the world. Persia's is not 
larger, juicier or more deliciously flavoured. The har 
vest of the orchards is no longer what it was, for trees 
are unpruned and irrigation ditches broken by war 



years of neglect, and here and there a break in the walls 
shows once-tilled rows that are wastes of dry weeds. 
But patiently the peasants are beginning their labour 
again, and when the road leaves the last wall behind 
and starts out across the prairie-land gangs of men 
appear, working on a new irrigation system which 
America is building. 

It is twenty miles to Etchmiadzin, and nothing is to 
be seen upon the way but the immense plateau, in the 
south sweeping upward to the two peaks of Ararat 
that are crested white like a breaking wave, and in the 
north rising to the great unbroken curve of Mount 

At last the church-towers rise from the concealing 
waves of land; Saint Hripsime's church, standing 
lonely on the prairie, Saint Gaiane's church, further 
ahead, and midway between them the fortress-walls of 
Etchmiadzin. The red flag flies from one corner of 
them, the American flag from the other, and between 
them rise the Cathedral towers. There the three forces 
that control Armenia are represented. The Soviet gov 
ernment has confiscated the printing plant of Etch 
miadzin; the Americans have filled a block of cloisters 
with a hospital-orphanage for babies; and still mighty 
behind his invaded walls sits the Katholicos, supreme 
head of the Armenian Church and of the Armenian 
people throughout the world. 

An old man, the present Katholicos so old and so 
worn by life that now he does little more than wait 
for the call to heaven. One sees him walking slowly 


and with effort in his flowing black robes, a Vartabed- 
Bishop upholding either arm, a servant following with 
a chair. He moves along the worn pavements of an 
cient stones, beneath the heavy stone arches; he goes 
through the archway-tunnel that pierces the cloisters 
and into the tiny garden where the fountain is dry and 
the flowers are not watered now. The chair is placed 
for him beneath a tree, slowly he lowers himself into 
it, and sits, his withered hands listless on his knees 
and his tired eyes seeing only his own thoughts. 

The long years during which he was a power, years 
when he fought the Tsar of the Russias for his people 
and for his Church, are ended now. He is very old 
and tired, his life-energy has ebbed away, and he 
cannot fight the fierce young enemy, the Soviet gov 
ernment. Only a few years remain to him on earth, 
before the shell of him that carries the heavy, jewelled 
robes and wears on its forehead the enormous diamond 
of the spiritual ruler of Armenia will be laid beneath 
the granite blocks that floor the Cathedral. Until that 
time, he remains a symbol. As a symbol he is served 
reverently by the community of black-robed Vartabed- 
Bishops who move about the ancient quadrangle of 
Etchmiadzin like figures from some remote past. 

The Middle Ages are still alive in Etchmiadzin. 
There is no other place like it known to me. It is 
neither a community withdrawn from the modern 
world, nor a community coloured by it, as Roman 
Catholic monasteries are. It is a community squarely 
in its place in its own century but the century is one 
that we, in the West,, have passed. The simplicity, the 


hospitality, the pomp of Etchmiadzin are those of the 
Catholic Church of Europe before the Reformation. 

The Vartabeds who surround the Katholicos are 
the court of a spiritual emperor in a land where the 
spiritual world has a solidity which no longer exists 
for us. The scientific spirit has not penetrated here, 
with its eternal question lifting veil after veil from 
a core of the Unknowable. God and the angels and 
the saints, the golden pavement of heaven, the iron key 
of Saint Peter, are still corporeal things, in Armenia. 
They are mystic things in the imagination of the 
people, mystic presences having little to do with this 
world, which is governed by its own traditional laws. 
But in heaven, in their own world, they are as real as 
human things are in the human world. There is an 
actual gate of heaven, opened to the faithful by an 
actual key. God sits in a solid throne, with a 
sceptre in His hand. And His personal representative, 
His diplomatic minister to the human world, is the 

It is as though Armenia, with its conversion to Chris 
tianity in the fourth century, became a vassal of the 
empire of heaven. Its own earthly rulers still ruled 
it by its own earthly laws, but above them was the 
Katholicos, viceroy of God. The Church is his court. 
Because Armenia was a vassal of heaven, it was for 
Armenia that the Church fought, against both spiritual 
and temporal enemies. 

The Church offered to intelligent Armenians an op 
portunity for a career. By becoming Vartabeds they 
escaped from the temporal world, where they were 


oppressed by foreign conquerors, into the safety of 
Etchmiadzin, where they could study, write, think, and 
become powerful Tulers of the Church. 

These mediaeval-minded men are the scholars of 
Armenia, and in European scholarship they hold high 
places. They study old manuscripts, spend a lifetime 
untangling legend and fact to clear up some abstruse 
point of theology, or to decide some debated question 
of ancient history. They decipher inscriptions on old 
stones, they know forgotten alphabets and old Assyrian 
and Chaldean lore. Their correspondence before the 
war was enormous; their museum and their library 
were a Mecca of pilgrimage from Europe; their names 
are known in that dim world of learning which is closed 
to most of us. 

It is a strange life, a quaint and, in its way, a beau 
tiful life. For recreation, they walk in their walled 
gardens, they study botany and astronomy, or with 
miniature brushes patiently and lovingly illuminate 
their manuscripts. They know printing and book-bind 
ing, too; their printing press, the only one in Armenia, 
produced treatises on learned subjects that were most 
marvellous examples of the printer's and book-binder's 

Their rooms are like engravings in some old musty 
book; stone walls four feet thick, lined with book 
shelves and pierced by small deep-set windows; stone- 
flagged floors worn by centuries of sandalled feet; 
heavy furniture dark and glossy with age. Here in 
jovial mood, when a visitor is to be entertained, they 
bring from small wall-cupboards a flagon of Etch- 


miadzin wine or a decanter of Armenian cognac and 
sheets of the paper-thin Armenian bread which they 
spread thick with honey and butter and roll into de 
licious morsels. Their grave faces framed in the tall, 
pointed, black cowls break into child-like smiles, and 
their plump bodies shake with laughter under their 
long black robes, while jest follows jest until, all to 
gether, they sing an old Armenian song. 

There is still another side to Etchmiadzin. The ob 
stinate tenacity, the deep-rooted life of Armenia which 
all history has not been able to destroy, are here in the 
Armenian Church. Changes in temporal affairs have 
beaten against the walls of Etchmiadzin for sixteen 
centuries like little waves against a granite cliff. Now 
the Tsar has fallen, the Soviets have come. The 
Soviets may endure for a few years or for a few cen 
turies; it is all one to Etchmiadzin. Some day the 
Soviets will go, as all temporal governments do, but 
Etchmiadzin will still stand. 

A certain surface flexibility is needed to meet these 
changes; the Church has always had it. An ever- 
renewed and yet unchanging life has been in the 
Church, and always will be. The Katholicos is old 
and very tired; soon there will be a new Katholicos. 
He will probably be the present Archbishop of Erivan, 
Archbishop Khorian. One cannot predict this with 
certainty, for the Katholicos unlike any other spir 
itual ruler is elected by the vote of all Armenians 
in every part of the world. But to-day it is Arch 
bishop Khorian who is most frequently spoken of as 


their next choice, and he is already the power behind 
the throne in Etchmiadzin. When the Church speaks, 
it speaks with the voice of the Katholicos, but its words 
are those of the Archbishop. 

He has spent nearly all his life in the service of the 
Church. A young man, son of a family neither rich 
nor powerful, he struggled through Tiflis University, 
against all the obstacles which the Tsar's government 
put in the way of Armenian education. Graduating, 
he became a teacher in the Nerses Academy. Even as 
a young man, he must have shown ability and char 
acter, and the Armenian Church has always shown 
cleverness in choosing its recruits. The former 
Katholicos visited Tiflis, saw the young Khorian, and 
asked him to come to Etchmiadzin. 

This is a peculiarity of the Church; its supreme head 
is chosen by democratic vote, but he is surrounded by 
an oligarchy of his own choosing. The Bishops of 
Etchmiadzin are celibate monks, but the village priests 
must be married. The result is that the priest cannot 
become a bishop unless his wife dies, and even then 
very rarely. There is democracy within Etchmiadzin, 
there is democracy on a lower level among the village 
priests, and there is democratic choice in the election 
of the Katholicos; but there is no democratic passing 
from one level to another within the Church. An in 
vitation to become a monk at Etchmiadzin is an op 
portunity granted to few. 

The young Khorian's gifts were administrative, ac 
tive rather than passive. His scholarship is extraordi 
nary, but it is his recreation, not his life. Within a 


few years lie became Archbishop of Erivan, in the 
forefront of the battle against the Tsar. He became a 
clever, acute, resourceful politician. Only one error 
is recorded of him. In 1905, when the Tsar confiscated 
the Church treasure and the whole population of the 
Caucasus rose in revolt, the Russian governor of Erivan 
was besieged in his palace by a mob as furious as that 
which destroyed the Bastille. Armed only with such 
weapons as they could improvise, scythes and axes and 
clubs, the Armenians killed the governor's guards and 
were tearing down the palace. Messengers rushed to 
the Archbishop, begging him to save the governor's 
life. The Archbishop came out on a balcony, held up 
his hand, and quietly told the silenced mobs to go 
home. They went. The Russian government there 
upon arrested the Archbishop and exiled him to the 
Crimea, on the very logical grounds that his influence 
with the Armenian people had been proved to be 
strong enough to be dangerous to Russia. 

Saving the governor's life was the one error in a long 
and brilliant career; it was an error excusable, no 
doubt, on the ground of his youth at the time. 

He escaped from exile by very clever political work, 
and since his return to Armenia his power has steadily 
increased. To-day he is the unofficial leader of the 
Church, the skilled adversary encountered by the 
Soviets. With the Communists he is on the same 
excellent terms as were the first rulers of the Church 
with the last Armenian kings. 

Never before has there been greater enthusiasm for 
the Church among the Armenian peasants; the re- 


ligious processions grow larger and more enthusiastic 
every year. The Archbishop contemplates such tre 
mendous modern reforms in church service as seats 
for the congregation, and instrumental music in the 
Cathedral. He is adroit; the government has returned 
the Church vineyards it confiscated, and the Church 
buildings it claimed. The government has given Etch- 
miadzin permission to open the university for which it 
fought so long and so vainly against the Tsar's opposi 
tion. Archbishop Khorian is interested in the refugee 
problem, and in irrigation to reclaim land on which the 
exiles from Turkey can be established. The govern 
ment has been brought respectfully to ask the Katholi- 
cos to allow Archbishop Khorian to work with the 
Soviets on this plan. 

The Archbishop does not discuss Communism or the 
Soviets; he talks of the peasants, of the reforms in 
church service, of his irrigation projects. But behind 
all these activities there is the real interest, the only 
interest, the interest to which all his plans are sub 
servient his intention to bring the Church through 
this political storm stronger and more energetic than it 
has ever been. 

Everything indicates that he will succeed. 

Behind the walls of Saint Hripsime's church, stand 
ing lonely on the prairie outside Etchmiadzin, lives the 
Vartabed Khatchik Dadian. He is an old man now. 
Twenty-five years of his life and all the fortune in 
herited from his father have been spent on his one 
passion, the discovery of the real church built by Saint 


The renowned scholar lives alone in rooms in the walls that surround Saint 
Hripsime's church, and delves into the past as revealed in old manuscripts. 


The leaves are parchment, voluminously illustrated in colors still bright, 
although dating back probably to the fourth century. 


Gregory after his vision. This church he believes he 
has found, and buried beneath one of the pillars that 
his excavations unburied were the bones, he asserts, 
of Saint Gregory himself. 

This attack upon the tradition of Etchmiadzin made 
by a man whose great learning was nurtured in the 
bosom of the Church, is received with silence in the 
cloisters that surround the Cathedral. Khatchik 
Dadian is a Vartabed-Bishop, and will be one until 
he dies, but his labours are no longer supported by the 
Church. He can dig no more, for even were his own 
fortune not exhausted, the Soviet government forbids 
further excavations. So he lives alone in his rooms 
in the walls that surround Saint Hripsime's church, and 
delves deeper into the past as revealed in old manu 
scripts. But on the prairie at some little distance lie 
the fruits of his life work: the temples uncovered when 
he stripped one of the many small hills to its bones 
of granite blocks and broken columns. 

Here are exposed again to daylight the ruins of five 
temples, built one upon another, each raising its walls 
on fragments of the former ones. Three thousand 
years ago, said Vartabed Dadian, the first temple was 
built in honour of Sun, Moon and Air. The Greek 
gods wrecked it, and twenty-one hundred years ago a 
temple to Diana rose above its fragments. A wave of 
Persians came from the East, and Diana disappeared; 
the Magi lighted the sacred Fire on their own altar in 
this place. The worship of Fire passed when Tigranes 
the Great of Armenia conquered Persia. Then, for 
the thousands of Jews who were brought here to the 


new towns built by Sempad Bragatide of that genera 
tion, a temple to Jehovah was erected, sixty years be 
fore the birth of Christ. This was one of the temples 
destroyed when Saint Gregory converted Armenia, and 
his little temple built to Christ was made of all the 
walls that had fallen. Still built into the walls of this 
little Christian church are stones smoke-backened by 
the fires of the Magi. 

This little church, still distinctly traced upon the 
ground by its pavement of granite blocks and still 
surrounded by fragments of its walls, is the original 
church built by the saint, if Vartabed Dadian's docu 
ments tell the truth. Near it stood King Tiridates' 
palace, burned during an invasion of the Romans in 
59 A.D.; it was rebuilt seven years later when Tiri- 
dates himself had gone to Rome to sue for pardon, 
and receiving it had brought back Roman architects 
to raise the palace walls again. The lower floors and 
dungeons of this palace are still buried by the slowly- 
moving waves of earth, but its upper halls, its corri 
dors and its judgment seat are uncovered to the wind 
and rain, and Vartabed Dadian, stamping on the stone 
pavements, awakens below them a hollow sound that 
testifies to hidden chambers. 

All the little hills surrounding this excavation, he 
says, are filled with palaces of ancient kings. A city 
lies concealed here, holding unknown treasures of truth 
about the almost forgotten childhood of man. He 
sighs, knowing that now he is too old ever to see them 
uncovered, and he smiles, looking at the wealth of 
Greek and Byzantine and Persian carvings, at immense 


pillars and their capitals of granite eagles with out 
stretched wings that he has unearthed. 

Standing against one of the bits of old wall is a slab 
of stone as tall as a man, on which are deeply graven 
forty-seven lines of writing, in the language of the 
Urardu, the first tribes of Armenia. For long years 
after it was discovered it could not be read, for the 
language had been forgotten. How this stone had come 
here was unknown, for it was far older than any of the 
five temples that had succeeded each other here, but 
at last its meaning was deciphered by scholars, and 
from depths of the past this stone spoke, and said: 

"To God the Sun, Ruler of the World, this stone is 
inscribed by order of Rusas, son of Argistis. To the 
illustrious worshippers of the Sun, Rusas son of Argistis 
speaks, saying: I have conquered the land of Quturli, 
with all that belonged to it, to its uttermost frontier. 
This great victory was granted to me by the Sun, Ruler 
of Earth. To him I have built these things: a garden 
of cypress trees and oaks, a splendid city with walls 
about it, and a wide canal from the River Ildaruni to 
water the trees of this garden of the Sun. In the name 
of Rusas, son of Argistis, libations are poured. The 
wall of the city, the wall of the canal, are built. A 
lamb is sacrificed to God the Sun; sacrifice of a lamb 
is made to God the Moon, may these offerings be ac 
ceptable to the gods. 

"For abundance of water in the canal, a goat is sac 
rificed to the Sun, a lamb to the Sun, a lamb to the 
Moon, a lamb to the Air, as offerings acceptable to the 


gods from the hand of Rusas, son of Argistis, the 
powerful king, the great king, king of the world, king 
of the peoples of Van, king of kings and king of the 
city of Tosp. 

"Rusas, son of Argistis, commands: Whosoever de 
stroys this inscription, whosoever defaces the name of 
the king, whosoever takes upon himself to give com 
mands, whosoever overthrows this stone, whosoever 
pretends whoever he may be that he has been the 
builder of this city, of the garden, of the great canal, 
whosoever effaces the name of Rusas, son of Argistis, 
to place his own name in this place, though he be a 
man of Van, though he be a Lulubien, may God the 
Sun, God the Moon, God the Air, the great gods, wipe 
out for ever his name, his family, and all that are of 
his blood." 

This Is the only record left of Rusas, the son of 
Argistis, of his people, of his victories or of his build 
ing. No one knows who were the Lulubiens or the 
peoples of Van. No one knows, save for this stone, 
that the city of Tosp existed. Of the pride of the 
king of kings, the emperor Rusas, and of his people and 
his empire, nothing remains. 

Only the canal that he built of huge blocks of stone 
was discovered when a tunnel was run from the River 
Araxes through the hill on its banks. America is re 
pairing it, with wages paid in corn-grits from Kansas; 
it is part of the new irrigation system that will water 
the plains around Etchmiadzin. 



THE Soviet government of Armenia existed, as 
an Armenian government, less than two years. 
It was established under cover of the Turkish 
occupation of 1920; on the first of January, 1923, it 
was dissolved into the federal government of the Fed 
erated Socialist Soviet States. That is, Armenia was 
again absorbed by Russia. 

Armenia's escape from Russian dominion was brief, 
and had two phases; first, the Nationalist government, 
then the Armenian Soviet. Neither of these govern 
ments represented the Armenian people; neither of 
them lasted long enough to give the exhausted, starv 
ing masses an opportunity to recover and assert them 
selves. Both of these governments were an adventure 
of a group of revolutionists. The Dashnak Nationalist 
government was militaristic and autocratic; the Soviet 
government was socialistic and autocratic. 

In a sense, responsibility for the faults and crimes 
of any revolutionary government lies on the head of 
the government that the revolutionists have destroyed. 
Tsarist Russia created her revolutionists, embittered 
them by oppression and cruelty, distorted their minds 
by enforced ignorance and long years of idleness in 
prison, and made them her relentless enemies by cen- 



turies of bloody injustice. The revolutionists ruling 
Russia to-day are the legitimate children of Tsarist 
Russia, exactly as much as her cultured, beautiful and 
callous aristocrats were. 

From thistles come forth thistles, and from grape 
vines, grapes. If, in faraway America I had ever 
feared that bloody revolution threatened our own 
country, that fear would have vanished when I saw 
Soviet Armenia. Only bloody oppression brings forth 
bloody revolution, for they are two sides of the same 
thing. Seeds of discontent may fall as fast as they 
will on the soil of any country where men are free; 
they will find no place in which to root and grow. 

Tsarist Russia was a bloody oppression; a govern 
ment of the Dark Ages. In the small sunny spaces 
around her courts blossomed an aristocracy of culture 
and beauty, but even in it there was no political free 
dom. Children of the aristocrats who loved art, an 
tiquity, literature or luxury, could cultivate those 
tastes and develop in them a perfection which we do 
not know in busy America. But even the sons of 
the aristocrats could not speak of political freedom. 
When, in their universities, they dared to do so, they 
were driven into outer darkness, hunted, imprisoned, 
exiled to Siberia, executed. Hate was burned into their 
souls. Living furtively as hunted animals, pursued in 
all the countries of Europe by agents of the Tsar's 
secret police, they educated themselves as best they 
might by midnight study of Marx, of Engels, of all 
the men who had dreamed of a perfect world built upon 
the ruins of the real world. Of what the real world is, 


these revolutionists could have no real understanding; 
they saw only as much of it as the terrified fox sees 
of the farm from which, starving, he steals chickens. 

The fox would dream of the perfect farm, one sup 
poses, as a place where there were plenty of chickens 
for all. If it can be imagined that this fox murdered 
the farmer and became master of the farm, he would 
at once decree chickens for all. But he would know 
nothing about cultivating the soil, harvesting the grain, 
building the chicken coops, running the incubators. 

So the revolutionists dreamed of a world of liberty 
and plenty for all the "dark people," the oppressed, 
ignorant, hungry people of Russia. But there is very 
little liberty in the real world; none of us have more 
than a small bit of it. Even in America we sacrifice 
our personal liberty every day to our social sense, to 
our recognition of the rights of others and to our con 
ceptions of right and wrong. As for material things, 
a wealth of them comes only from self-discipline, work, 
and knowledge of how to work. The revolutionists 
among all the peoples of Russia did not have any 
knowledge of how to work, how to manage factories, 
farms, railroads, or government. How could they know 
these things? The government of the Tsars had given 
them no opportunity to learn. 

This was true of the Armenian revolutionists, as it 
was true of their comrades among the innumerable op 
pressed peoples of Russia. Armenia was a conquered 
province, and Armenians were not given even the very 
small opportunities that the Russians had. There were 
few universities in Russia none in Armenia and 


these were entirely for children of the aristocrats. 
Even the aristocrats of Armenia were not allowed 
freely to enter them. All the peoples of the Caucasus, 
Armenians, Georgians, Tartars and Abcasians, were 
permitted to send to Russian universities only seven 
per cent of the total number of students. Whenever 
able men developed among the Armenians they were 
taken from Armenia; they were not allowed to stay 
among their own people for fear that they would help 
to educate them and education was a danger to the 
Tsar's government. 

The Armenian Church was a danger to the Tsar's 
government. It was the heart of a submerged Arme 
nian nation; the people gathered around its leadership. 
Therefore the Armenian Church was oppressed. Its 
lands were taken, its treasures confiscated. Its efforts 
to open a university were crushed. Even the last spark 
of liberty left to the Armenians, the right freely to 
elect the Katholicos, the head of their Church, was 
taken from them by the Tsar. 

When, after the disastrous Russian-Japanese war 
of 1905, the Tsar refilled his treasury by confiscating 
the wealth of the churches, the peoples of the Cau 
casus were driven to a frenzy. There were mass meet 
ings, demonstrations, riots, and a sudden lovefeast of 
all the peoples. Armenians, Georgians, Tartars, united 
to resist the Tsar's attacks on their churches. Such 
friendliness among his subject peoples was the most 
imminent danger to the Tsar; if ever they were united 
his throne would be destroyed as by a hurricane. The 
Russian secret police desperately hastened to avert 


such a calamity as friendliness among the races of the 
Russian Empire. 

In Baku they disarmed the Armenians and gave 
arms to the Tartars. Then hundreds of them, working 
among the ignorant Tartar masses, inflamed their 
minds with stories of Armenian atrocities, until on a 
certain day they distributed free vodka to all the 
armed Tartars, withdrew the police from the city, and 
led the drunken mobs into the Armenian quarter. The 
massacre was one of the most terrible in Armenian his 
tory; for days afterwards thousands of bodies lay piled 
in the streets. The whole Armenian quarter was 
burned; even the oil wells owned by Armenians were 
set on fire. The sky was covered with black smoke, 
the blazing oil ran out over the waters of the Caspian 
Sea until even it seemed to be burning, and all the 
passions of ignorant men crazed by vodka rioted 
through this inferno during three days and nights. 
Satisfied, the Tsar's secret police brought back the 
Cossacks; the carnage ceased in a ruined city. The 
desire of the Tsar had been attained; there was no 
more love between Armenian and Tartar. Such was 
the rule of the Tsar over the Armenians. 

The war between Tartars and Armenians did not 
cease during fifteen years. From the massacres of 
1905 until the establishing of the Armenian Soviet 
government in 1920 there was constant war between 
Armenian and Tartar villages everywhere in the Cau 
casus. Men ventured from their villages only in armed 
groups; the life of a Tartar in an Armenian village 
or that of an Armenian in a Tartar village was worth 


no more than the shortest possible time required to 
kill him. Every effort of the leaders of both races to 
stop this slaughter, to make peace between the peoples, 
was thwarted by the Russian secret police. So long 
as the peoples could be kept killing each other, they 
would not turn against the Tsar. 

This was the soil in which the Armenian Communist 
movement grew secretly, of course. Under cover, 
hunted, always in danger of capture and death, the 
Communists spread their propaganda and created the 
party in which all races joined hands. While peasant 
Armenian and peasant Tartar went armed, ready to 
kill each other, Communist Armenian and Communist 
Tartar called each other "Comrade." 

Let me repeat that it is only in such soil, only in 
such darkness and under such oppression, that revo 
lutionary movements can grow. Revolution is re 
action to unscrupulous oppression; the two things go 
together, inseparable. In a free country, among a free 
people, neither of them can exist. 

When the Tsarist government disappeared, blown to 
bits as by an explosion of the forces it had so long 
held down, Armenia was captured, not by the Com 
munists, but by the Armenian Nationalists. Armenia 
did not want to be Communist; it wanted to be free. 
But the Nationalist government was between the Turk 
ish armies and the Russian; Kars was taken by the 
Turks from the South, the Red armies came down from 
the North. The Nationalist government fell, and the 
armies of Communist Russia helped to establish the 
Communist government of Armenia. 


It was a bad government, judged by any standard 
of ours. It could not be anything else. Revolution 
ists controlled it, and revolutionists are such men as 
we do not produce in America. They had never had 
as much of a share in the work of governing as every 
twenty-one year old man and woman in America has 
when marking a ballot. They had never known such 
a thing as free political discussion. They did not know 
as much about railroading as the loneliest telegraph 
operator in our most isolated railway station; they did 
not know as much about agriculture as any farmer's 
boy who drives the cows home from pasture at night. 
They could not know these things; they had been given 
no opportunity to learn. 

They had on their hands the government of a coun 
try most utterly wrecked a desolation of fallen house 
walls, untilled fields, and starving, diseased peoples 
such as no American at home can imagine. To cope 
with this situation they had an economic theory which 
had never been applied to the real world of human 
beings, and nothing else. When they tried, as best 
they could, to apply this theory to the life of more 
than a million human beings who knew nothing about 
either economics or theories, who were dying of hunger 
and exposure and disease and wanted nothing but food 
and shelter and medicines, they encountered immedi 
ately a great American organization. The Americans 
had come to Armenia to save hundreds of thousands of 
human lives, and they saved them. They did it by 
methods that had nothing whatsoever to do with Com 
munism, American methods. 


The Near East Relief had been established and 
working in Armenia before the Communist revolution. 
Nearly forty thousand orphans were dependent upon 
it, and all the life that was left in Armenia centred 
around it. The Communist revolution was serious 
enough to the small Nationalist group that fought it 
in Erivan, and serious enough to the small Communist 
group that was backed by the armies of Russia. But 
both to the American organization and to the masses 
of the Armenian people, it was merely a sound and fury 
signifying nothing; a crackling of thorns under a pot. 

One thing the new government did; it stopped the 
long warfare between Tartar and Armenian and 
Molokan. For the first time in fifteen years, there 
was peace in the villages. Azerbaijan, the neighbour 
ing country of the Tartars, was Soviet; Armenia was 
Soviet; Great Russia was Soviet; the Soviet govern 
ment was being attacked by armies from Europe and 
by armies of counter-revolutionists, and unity was ab 
solutely necessary between the Soviet states. The Red 
armies controlled the Caucasus, and the order from 
Moscow was, "Internal peace at any cost." Therefore 
there was peace. 

Stepan Gregorian, returning to his village after a 
year of living in refugee camps, did not know any 
thing about Communism, nor wish to know; he cared 
as little about Europe's policies and the wars of the 
Red armies; he and his wife and babies were dying 
of hunger and all he wanted was food. Tartars, 
brothers of the Turks, had always been his enemies 
and always, he thought, would be his enemies. But if 


his friends raided a Tartar village for food, the gov 
ernment descended upon them and carried them away 
to jail, perhaps to execution. When the Tartars raided 
his village, behold! government descended upon them, 
and treated them likewise. Word spread that there 
was now peace between Armenians and Tartars. Word 
spread that the war between them was ended. Cau 
tious groups ventured from one village to another; 
nothing happened. Men grew bold, and went from 
village to village in twos and threes. They were not 
killed. There came a day when a lone Tartar, un 
armed, rode into an Armenian village, and rode out 
again, alive. Stepan Gregorian, returning in his ox- 
wagon from a trip to the Americans who had lent 
him corn-grits to live upon till harvest, drove through 
a Tartar village and saw a Tartar woman milking a 
water-buffalo. He paused, and offered to exchange a 
small portion of corn-grits for a measure of milk for 
his baby. He told her that the baby ? s mother was ill, 
and that the baby grew thinner every day, and there 
were no cows left in his village. The Tartar woman 
gave him the measure of milk. Indeed, there was peace 
between the villages. 

This is the one thing that all the villagers of 
Armenia say, "The new government made peace be 
tween the villages." They do not like the new gov 
ernment; it collects cruel taxes, it makes the villagers 
call meetings and elect men of its own choosing, not 
of theirs, to represent them in Erivan. But it has made 
peace between the villages. 

Another thing the Soviet government did was to 


establish schools for the people. Poor schools, and 
not as many of them In reality as there are on paper, 
but schools. And never before were there any schools 
at all for those who were born in villages. There is a 
university in Erivan, and a night school, and any man 
or woman who wishes to study may do so; it is not 
necessary to have been born an aristocrat. The rooms 
are bare and cold; the teachers are underpaid, shabby 
and hungry; books are few. But there it is, a free 
university, where even the son of a farmer may go. 

The new government oppressed the people and op 
pressed the Church, but not as much as the Tsar op 
pressed them. The Communists have confiscated the 
museum of Etchmiadzin and have opened it at Erivan, 
in the government building. It is crowded every day 
by masses of reverent hungry-eyed clerks and peas 
ants old women in shawls, Tartars in their long, tent- 
like black capes and pointed hoods of camel's hair 
cloth, Molokans in blue Russian blouses and high 
boots, soldier-boys in khaki uniforms, and peasants 
in coats of sheepskin who gaze for the first time on 
treasures of woven stuffs, embroideries, illuminated 
manuscripts, collections of old coins, and walls covered 
with the beautiful canvases of Armenian painters. 
The Communists have confiscated the printing press 
of Etchmiadzin, and it is printing leaflets of Com 
munist propaganda and a few pamphlets on agricul 
ture, home medicine and hygiene, which may reach 
the peasants. But the Communists have given Etch 
miadzin permission to open the university that per- 


mission which Etchmiadzin could not get from the 

It was a bad government, inefficient, here and there 
corrupt; a government that imprisoned without trial 
hundreds of men, and executed no one knows how 
many. It was a government that did not know how 
to govern, but that nevertheless, somehow ; desperately 
and badly, did govern. It enforced peace and order; 
it tried to encourage agriculture; it hated the Ameri 
cans whose huge and working organization at every 
turn blocked efforts to establish Communism, and yet 
it co-operated with them, as well as it could, in build 
ing irrigation canals and roads and electric plants. It 
lasted nearly two years, and handed a somewhat re 
covered Armenia back to Russia. 

This reunion with Russia was inevitable. Little 
Armenia, without markets, factories or ports, with at 
most a tiny army of her own, could not long exist be 
tween Russia and Turkey. One or the other would 
swallow her. A formerly wealthy Armenian, now 
ruined and living in the basement of his home, which 
the Communists had confiscated, expressed the situa 
tion to me in these words, "Communist Russia is better 
than Nationalist Turkey. At least, we are alive. 7 ' 

On January i, 1923, occurred the reorganization of 
the whole of the former Russian Empire. The word, 
"Russia/ 7 vanished from all official documents and 
was replaced by "The Federation of Socialist Soviet 
Republics. 77 All the multitudinous peoples of Russia 
Kerghis, Cossacks, Tartars, Daghestanese, Georgians, 


Abcasians, Mongols, Huns, Molokans, Russians, and I 
do not know how many others, have each their small 
separate Soviet state, represented (theoretically) in the 
Federal government at Moscow. Among these states 
is the Armenian. 

It is possible that as part of this mass the Armenian 
people may be able to develop again some revival of 
their ancient culture, their genius in building and in 
poetry and art. It is possible that with time the revo 
lutionary despotism may relax, and that the peoples 
may be able to take a part in governing themselves, a 
thing which to-day, after centuries of oppression by 
the Tsar, they are not capable of doing, even were they 
given the opportunity to try. It is possible that com 
merce and industry may develop; already Russia has 
sent Armenia a present of machinery for a cotton-mill. 

On the other hand, it is possible that out of Russia 
may rise the "Strong Man" for whom the exiled 
ruined aristocrats are hoping, and that this Slav 
Napoleon may revive the Empire and hand-in-hand 
with Turkey sweep across Europe the savage warriors 
from the steppes of Asia who were beaten back when 
the Mongolian Khans halted in the eleventh century. 
Who can say what will come out of Russia, or what will 
be the patterns of the wars of to-morrow? 

Whether for better or worse the Armenians of the 
Caucasus are now part of the fate of Communist 
Russia. Another chapter in their long history ends. 
Armenia will live; a root deep-buried in the ground, 
refusing to die. Twice it has blossomed into a culture 
remarkable for its day. Now it has a new sap, some- 


thing of the spirit of America. Forty thousand chil 
dren, four per cent of the population, are growing up 
in America's care, beginning again at Ararat. They 
owe their lives to America, their schooling, their train 
ing in workshops and on playgrounds, their ideals, 
their energy. To-morrow, they will be men and 
women, and who can doubt that they will be the 
leaders of their countrymen? Something of America 
has been planted here; something that will grow. 

Printed in the United States of America 


New Lanterns in Old China 

Illustrated. $1.25. 

Stories of Chinese life by the wife* of Dr. John Inglis, 
who was for some years in charge of the Au Ting Hos 
pital, China. Based on jpersonal experiences they visualize 
with rare fidelity the sights and scenes of every-day life 
in the Orient. 


Author of "The Knock on the Door" etc., etc. 

Between the Lines in Asia Minor 
A Personal Narrative. Illustrated. $1.50. 

"Here are tense scenes t danger, treachery, cunning, 
courage, and devotion. Miss Holmes recounts the main, 
events of Urfa during the' winter and spring of 1920 and 
rthe part she had in what took place." Nashville Chris 
tian Advocate. 


My Nestorian Adventure in China 

A Popular Account of the Holm-Nestorian Ex 
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with photographs by the author, Maps, Etc. $3.50. 

Presenting t the narrative of adventurous exploration 
and travel in the interior provinces of China. Dr, 
Holm's account is full of interest. 

D. E. LORENZ, Ph.D. 

The New Mediterranean Traveller 

With Maps, Plans, Pictures, Etc. $3.50. 

An up-to-date Edition of the Famous Guide-Book of 
which a prominent reviewer said: "Will take the place 
of half a dozen 'Baedekers/ and prove its claim to be a 
most useful and practical handbook. 


With Italy in Her Final War of 

A Story of the "Y" on the Italian Front. 
Illustrated. $1.75. 

A graphic, spirited account of the extraordinarily use 
ful work done by the Y. M. C. A. in Italy during ths 
years in which the Italian forces engaged in the World 




Dominie Dean 

' A. Tale of the Mississippi. Illustrated, I2mo, cloth. 

school. It is a lifelike story filled with everyday people- 
small, naiarow, prejudiced, self-centered people, as well as 
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moves, patient, hopeful, true to his trust It is a story that 
comes dangerously near to tears at times. "Cleveland Plain 

4 "Mr. Butler has told his tale well. If it could be circulated 
m the thousands of communities of the kind in which David 
Dean Jived, it would pay for its writing many times over. It 
I s , in , ^ T ' Bu er's best vein, and is enjoyable throughout." 
A. Y. Evening Post. 

- - - O f st ge i etCt 

When the Sun Stood Still 

I21T10, Cloth. 

A finely conceived romance of the days of Joshua. 

'Cyrus Townsend Brady has written another historical 
novel, a tribute to the Jewish people, showing them in the 
days when they were valiant fighters on the battle field. It 
is a gripping story which will prove entertaining to those 
who like historical novels." Post-Dispatch, 


"Who Follows in Their Train?" 

A Syrian Romance, Illustrated, cloth, 

The charmingly written account of an American girl's ad" 
ventures in the land of Syria. Into it are woven soft 
romantic elements^ such as becometh a story written beneath 
the shadow of glorious lyebanon, in a region of wondrous sun- 
sets, quiet sheep-folds and the scent of orange blossoms. 
ihose who read and succumbed to the fascination of "The 
Jady of the Decoration," may anticipate a similar pleaswr 
from tins delightful volume. 


The Only Nancy 

A Tale of the Kentucky Mountains, tamo*, doth; 

A story of a Southern mountain-community to-td with viv. 
idness and power. The author's long as?ocStion with, IS 

rS w fe ?v of ? e f peop - Ie enal>Ie8 him to w "*e with freedom 
and fidelity of the region made famous by John Pox Tr 
Nancy, the central figure, is a real flesh-aniblood character 
as indeed are all the rest of the people in the pages of '^S 


F. A. McKENZIE Autho 

r of Korea's Fight 
or Freedom" 

**"D*-B-rryH,rt,.A.* >T^t*. ^ 

JrIISSy lOOt Johnson 



With Introduction by Dr. 
Wilfred T. Grenfell. 
Illustrated, 121110, net $1.50. 

" 'Let Johnson alone more 
power to his elbow.' No doubt 
Roosevelt when he said this ap 
preciated Johnson's manliness, 
his fearlessness, his loyalty to 
high ideals and that good nature 
which is a pledge of fairness. 
Lovers of adventure will enjoy 
this book." Boston Transcript, 




1 Q 2= 

^HEY powa ha 

} V%^ ""*" 
By F - & , 1 ^1- E 


First President of the Syrian 

Protestant College, Syria 

Reminiscences of Daniel Bliss 

Missionary and Educator. Edited and Supple 
mented by His Eldest Son. Illustrated, net $2.25. 

The story of his early days; his term of service, as 
missionary of the American Board, in the Lebanon; his 
share in the formation of plans which led to the creation 
of the Syrian Protestant College; his work of collecting 
funds for its endowment and equipment, and his more 
than sixty years of association with the famous Beirut in 
stitution, as President and President-Emeritus, 


The Dawn of a New Era in Syria 

Illustrated, I2mo, net $2.50. 

A deeply interesting account of what happened in Syria 
during the past five years. Not a mass of hearsay evi 
dence, but authentic data vouched for by reliable and 
credible witnesses, and, in the main, within the personal 
knowledge of the author. This book possesses historical, 
missionary and political significance of more than ordinary 


London Missionary Society ; 
Trivandram, India 

Sadhu Siindar Singh 

(Called of God) 

Illustrated, I2mo, net $1.25. 

"His story, ably told by Mrs, Arthur Parker, reads like 
a book of Apostolic adventure. Paul's perils of waters 
and of robbers, by his own countrymen and by the heathen, 
in the city and in the wilderness, were Sundar Singh's 
also. Rejected by his family he has become India's fore 
most evangelist." $. $. Times. 



Alaska Days with John Muir 

Illustrated, i2mo, cloth. 

"Do you remember Stickeen, the canine hero of John 
Muir's famous dog story? Here is a book by the man who 
owned Stickeen and who was Muir's companion on that ad 
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a breezy outdoor book, full of the wild beauties of the Atas- 
kan wilderness; it is also a living portrait of John Muir in 
the great moments of his career."- New York Tims. 

S. R. CROCKETT AU^T *f tar s* n d ,*. 

Hal 'o the Ironsides : 

Illustrated, I2mo, doth. 

"Crockett's last story. A rip-roaring 1 tale of the days of the 
great Oliver days when the dogs of war were let loose in 
English meadows, and "the gallants of England struck home 
for the King." Examiner. 


Fanny Crosby's Story &g*g; 

By S. Trevena Jackson. Illustrated, cloth* 

"This is, in a way, an autobiography, for it is the story of 
Fanny Crosby's life as she told it to her friend, who retells 
it jn this charming book. All lovers of the blind hyrnn 
writer ought to read this volume. It tells a story of pathos 
and of cheer. It will strengthen the faith and cheer the 
heart of every reader." WQtchmafn'Exmwer. 


The New World 

i6mo, cloth. \ 

"Dr. Black is a strong thinker and a clear, forcible writei'. 
Here he analyzes national tendencies toward unrest social, 
material, religious. This he does with moderation yet with 
courage, and always with hopefulness." The Outlook, 

S. M. ZJPEME_R,_D._D., F.R.G.S. Authtr / *&, ^ 

Childhood in the Moslem World 

Illustrated, 8vo, cloth. 

book covers much ground hitherto lying untouched in Mo 
hammedan literature." Christian Work.